Monster owner declines to sweeten bid for HotJobs

Thursday, December 27th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ TMP Worldwide Inc., owner of the leading jobs site, has declined to sweeten its offer for rival Ltd., clearing the way for Yahoo! Inc. to take over the online help-wanted site.

On Monday HotJobs declared an unsolicited bid from Yahoo to be superior to a merger agreement that TMP and HotJobs had made six months ago. HotJobs gave TMP until Thursday morning to top Yahoo's takeover offer. is based in Maynard, Mass.

TMP said in a statement released early Thursday that its management believed the company had already offered ``full and fair value'' to HotJobs and that it did not intend to adjust its all-stock offer.

TMP's offer for HotJobs was worth about $12.20 per share when the deal was announced in late June, but due to a decline in TMP's stock the offer is now worth $9.19 per share, based on TMP's closing share price Wednesday. Yahoo's offer, which includes cash as well as stock, values HotJobs at $10.50 per share or $436 million.

Shares of HotJobs fell 3 percent, or 32 cents, to $10.35 in morning trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Yahoo shares rose 14 cents to $17.65, while TMP shares rose $1.18 to $43.06, both on the Nasdaq.

Yahoo's pursuit of HotJobs caught some analysts off guard because the site ranks a distant second to in the online recruitment market. HotJobs has a database of about 5 million resumes while has 14 million resumes.