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Korea's largest job portal JobKorea up for sale

Nov 04, 2020 (Gmt+09:00)

South Korea-based private equity firm H&Q has begun the sale process for JobKorea, the country's largest job portal estimated to be worth up to $700 million.

Its sales advisor Morgan Stanley recently launched marketing efforts ahead of issuing an information memorandum to potential bidders next week, according to the investment banking industry on Nov. 4.

The deal is likely to attract both domestic and overseas PE firms, alongside strategic investors. Industry watchers predict a price tag in the 500 billion won to 800 billion won range ($440 million and $702 million), more than twice the acquisition price paid by H&Q. 

H&Q acquired 100% of JobKorea for a combined 205 billion won between 2013 and 2015.

JobKorea office logo

Korea's No. 1 job portal service JobKorea operates two platforms: JobKorea, for full-time job listings and Albamon, for part-time listings.

The company holds a 40% market share of Korea's online job listing market. Its market share is more than double that of Saramin, the industry's No. 2 player, with a market share in the low 20% range.

In particular, Albamon is considered an attractive asset as it holds a 60% market share in the part-time job listing market. It has seen drastic growth in recent years, posting higher revenue than JobKorea in 2019.

In late 2013, H&Q acquired a 49.9% stake in JobKorea for around 95 billion won ($83.5 million) from Monster Worldwide Inc., a US-based job listing service and parent company of the largest US job portal The domestic PE firm purchased JobKorea's remaining 50.1% stake for 110 billion won in 2015.

H&Q had initially planned to start the sale process earlier this year, but it was tentatively postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was resumed after JobKorea performed unexpectedly well in the first half of this year, posting around a 10% year-on-year increase thanks to Albamon’s handsome earnings.

“JobKorea operates both full-time and part-time platforms, which hedges risk," said an investment banking source. "The deal price will be determined based on the evaluation of JobKorea's data quantity and quality," the source explained.

Last year, JobKorea exceeded 100 billion won in revenue for the first time with an EBITDA of around 50 billion won.

Recently, H&Q raised 500 billion won in a blind pool fund as it gears up for aggressive investment.

Write to Chae-yeon Kim at

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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