Still No Bidders for Monster Worldwide Inc. (MWW)

By Nov 15, 2012, 5:28 AM Author's Blog  

Monster Worldwide Inc. (MWW), the online jobs site seeking a buyer, may fail to cement a deal after suitors such as TPG Capital and Apollo Global Management LLC (APO) passed, said two people familiar with the matter.

Monster, which sought offers of more than $10 a share and aimed to reach a deal by the end of October, has no current bidders for the whole company, said one of the people, who asked not to be named as the talks aren’t public. Private-equity firms Bain Capital LLC and Onex Corp. also passed, the people said.

A sale may happen eventually as New York-based Monster continues to seek buyers for all or part of the company, according to one person. Monster, which has been reviewing strategic alternatives for at least eight months, said last week that it’s still evaluating options. A “substantial number” of suitors have received management presentations, Timothy Yates, executive vice president, said on a conference call last week.

“Some of these discussions are ongoing and we cannot predict the timing or the specifics of the outcome from the process,” Yates said on the call.

Monster’s shares fell 5 percent to $5.93 at the close in New York, and earlier sank as much as 10 percent in intraday trading.

Monster said in March it was working with Stone Key Partners LLC and Bank of America Corp. on a review. The company, led by Chief Executive Officer Sal Iannuzzi, has trimmed its workforce and cut costs as economic turmoil in Europe led clients to pare use of its products and newer companies such as LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD) provide alternate ways to find staff.

Sale Unlikely

Representatives at Monster, TPG and Apollo declined to comment. Charlyn Lusk, a spokeswoman for Boston-based Bain at Stanton Public Relations & Marketing, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail request for comment, nor did Emma Thompson, a spokeswoman at Toronto-based Onex.

“I didn’t think a sale would be likely especially at the prices management would accept,” Randle Reece, an analyst at Avondale Partners LLC, said in an interview.

Cost cuts aren’t enough to turn around the company, Reese said. Monster needs to find new sources of revenue growth and be more creative with advertising, rather than waiting for the economy to revive a stock price that had fallen by 30 percent in the past year before today, he said. Monster should also consider acquisitions to expand its online job-search technology and advertising options.

Last week Monster reported that third-quarter sales sank 11 percent to $221.7 million, falling short of the average estimate of analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Monster forecast fourth-quarter earnings from continuing operations of 5 cents to 10 cents a share.

By Jeffrey McCracken, Serena Saitto and Danielle Kucera

Courtesy of Bloomberg News

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