The Irish Examiner has reported today that Saongroup, an international online recruitment business owned by Denis O’Brien and Leslie Buckley, has acquired Monster’s Chinese operation for $30 million.
Saongroup now has a 90 percent stake in the business, with US-based Monster holding on to the remaining 10 percent.
Saongroup already operates an online jobs listing service in 30 countries, including China, through the IrishJobs.ie website. Although by default it’s set to display jobs in Ireland, the company’s sister site features openings in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangdong and Chengdu.
Combined, Saongroup says its employment websites receive more than 25 million visitors each month.
Ciaran McCooey, CEO of Soangroup, told the Irish Independent earlier today that the acquisition would help the company build a greater presence in China’s major cities.
“It has really positioned us in the tier one cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the mega cities,” he reportedly said. “Our own business had a very strong presence in the tier two and three cities outside of that, but we weren’t servicing the tier ones. It gives us a pan China presence now, which is excellent.”
Saongroup’s total workforce will now increase to 3,000 as a result of the acquisition.
Tech In Asia has reported that between 2005 and 2008, Monster pumped more than $240 million into ChinaHR as it transitioned from being an initial investor to its owner. The $30 million figure – which hasn’t been confirmed by either party yet – therefore represents a significant loss for the company.
It follows reports that last week, ChinaHR laid off more than half of its Beijing staff after offering them what has been described as “a pretty generous severance package.” That didn’t sit well with the remaining workers though, igniting a protest at around 2pm in the afternoon. Tech In Asia said that the management staff sent by Monster to announce the layoffs hid in their offices until local police arrived to settle everybody down.