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 Monster.com, has declined to sweeten its offer for rival HotJobs.com 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.

Monster.com 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 Monster.com in the online recruitment market. HotJobs has a database of about 5 million resumes while Monster.com has 14 million resumes.