DCP Ropes In 51job Co-Founder, Ocean Link for $5 Billion Buyout

Recruitment site 51job Inc. received an updated buyout proposal from a consortium led by DCP Capital in what could be one of the largest takeovers of a U.S.-listed Chinese firm this year.

DCP has teamed up with private-equity firm Ocean Link and 51job Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Rick Yan and has sent a revised version of the takeover bid it originally announced in September to the company’s board, it said in an announcement Tuesday, confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report.

The Beijing-based buyout firm in September made a non-binding cash offer of $79.05 per common share for all of the company’s outstanding shares, valuing 51job at about $5.3 billion. The company formed a special committee to evaluate and consider the offer as well as other potential strategic alternatives.

The committee will continue to evaluate the proposal in light of the latest development, the company said. No decisions have been made regarding the proposal or any alternative strategic option, they said.

51job’s American depositary shares closed up 11% on Tuesday, their biggest move since the proposal was originally disclosed in September.

Founded in 1998, 51job provides human resources services in China. It offers recruitment, employee retention and other personnel-related assistance. Its biggest shareholder is Japan’s Recruit Holdings Co., while Yan owns a significant minority stake in the company.

The company has expanded over the years both organically and via acquisitions including Yingjiesheng.com in 2015.

DCP Capital is led by former KKR & Co. and Morgan Stanley private equity dealmakers, according to its website. Ocean Link, which focuses on China’s consumer, travel and telecommunications, media and technology sectors, was part of an investor group that agreed to take 58.com Inc. private last year in a deal valuing China’s biggest online classifieds firm at about $8.7 billion.

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