CareerBuilder price: $1 billion plus?

06 Apr 2017

Is the bidding for CareerBuilder wrapping up? Reuters reports GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity company, is in “exclusive talks to acquire U.S. job-hunting website CareerBuilder LLC for more than $1 billion.”

Citing “people familiar with the matter,” Reuters said CareerBuilder owners Tegna, Tribune Media Co. and The McClatchy Co. would cash out if the deal is completed.

Tegna announced in September that it would “evaluate strategic alternatives” for CareerBuilder.com and spin off Cars.com, its automotive site.

GTCR has prevailed in an auction for CareerBuilder, and is in the process of trying to finalize the terms of a deal, the people said this week, cautioning that it is still possible that the negotiations end without an agreement,” Reuters reported.

GTCR has made a number of investments in media, telecomms and technology companies over the years, but no direct reported investments in classified advertising sites. CareerBuilder, for its part, has followed a strategy of becoming “more than a job board” with its 2012 acquisition of Economic Modeling Specialists International, a data company, and purchases last year of background- and drug-screening company Aurico and a majority interest in WorkTerra, an HR software provider. It also owns BroadBean, an employment data company based in the U.K.

It’s been pivoting away from job board services to “software as a service” model for the human resources field, and moving away from the relationships with newspapers that were its core at launch.

Some of the companies in GTCR’s portfolio include Cision, a provider of public relations services, and Fairway Outdoor Advertising.

(For what it’s worth, GTCR is based at 300 N. LaSalle St. in Chicago, CareerBuilder’s at 200 N. LaSalle. It’s a two-minute walk. The elevator ride from GTCR’s headquarters on the 56th floor is probably longer than the stroll down the block. CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson and some of his other key execs are based primarily in Atlanta.)

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Peter M. Zollman

Peter M. Zollman brings more than 35 years of media experience to his role as founding principal of the AIM Group / Classified Intelligence Report. He has worked with a wide range of media companies, dot-coms, technology providers and start-ups to develop and expand successful interactive-media services. He is based in Altamonte Springs, Fla., near Orlando.