Mail.ru Group completes sale of HeadHunter; Goldman Sachs said to be among new shareholders - RUSSOFT
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Mail.ru Group completes sale of HeadHunter; Goldman Sachs said to be among new shareholders

Mail.ru Group, a leading LSE-listed Russian Internet group, has completed at last the sale of HeadHunter (hh.ru) to a consortium of investors led by Elbrus Capital

Mar 22, 2016
Russian business daily Vedomosti learned from unnamed sources that Goldman Sachs was part of the consortium, but the bank declined to confirm this information.

The transaction, which is worth a total of 10 billion rubles (around $140 million at the current exchange rate), was completed in late February. The cash is due to be paid in two tranches with 5.5 billion already received and 4.5 billion to be received until April 30, 2016. The second tranche is unconditional.

The deal had been announced in late 2014, but could not be completed as Elbrus failed to involve western investors as planned amid the economic crisis and the rising international tensions.

According to Vedomosti, the proceeds will be used to repay part of the loan which was provided to Mail.ru Group in 2014 to acquire an important stake in social network Vkontakte.

20 million résumés from 6 countries

HeadHunter is the leader in the online recruitment segment in Russia as well as in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Azerbaijan. It was founded in 2000 under the name ‘National Job Club’. In 2007 Yuri Milner’s Digital Sky Technologies bought a 24.5% stake in HeadHunter for $15 million, followed by a further 12% the following year. In 2009 DST bought another 56.61% in the company for $37.5 million, before becoming Mail.ru Group in 2010. In 2012, the group went on to increase its stake in HeadHunter to 100% in 2012.

In the past seven years, HeadHunter’s monthly audience in Russia grew from 4 to 19 million unique users. Its résumé database has increased from 3 to 19.7 million, while its vacancy database has grown from 70,000 to 300,000, Mail.ru Group claims.

During this period, HeadHunter entered the markets of Belarus (2010), Azerbaijan (2012), Georgia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan markets. The company also launched a Russian employer rating, wage database, an online vacancy fair, an online talent assessment service, the Clickme advertising service and the Academy e-learning service.

In 2015, according to Mail.ru Group, HeadHunter’s revenue remained broadly flat, decreasing 1.5% to 3.01 billion rubles (almost $50 million at the average exchange rate of that year). Its EBITDA decreased 2.5% to 1.51 billion (approximately $24 million).