Japan's Recruit to buy Glassdoor for $1.2 billion in overseas push

TOKYO (Reuters) - HR services provider Recruit Holdings Co 6098.T has agreed to buy Glassdoor Inc for $1.2 billion, in a deal that will give the Japanese firm access to the U.S. job-website operator's vast database of company reviews and salary data.

FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian walks under the logo of Recruit Holdings in front of its headquarters building in Tokyo September 10, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/File Photo

The Glassdoor deal marks the latest in a string of overseas investments by Recruit that, like several other Japanese firms, has been pushing to increase its offshore presence over the past few years to make up for weak prospects at home. It already gets 40 percent of it total revenue from foreign markets.

Buying Glassdoor will expand Recruit’s reach in the United States, a market it tapped through its acquisition of Connecticut-based job search site Indeed in 2012.

Privately held Glassdoor was valued at about $1 billion at its last round of fundraising in 2016. It counts billionaire Chase Coleman’s hedge fund Tiger Global Management, Google Capital, and T. Rowe Price among its investors.

Glassdoor will continue to be led by its current chief executive and co-founder, Robert Hohman, Recruit said.

Recruit will fund the acquisition with cash on hand and expects to close the deal during the July-September quarter, subject to regulatory approvals.

Shares in the Japanese company rose almost 4 percent on Wednesday to a three-month high on news of the deal.

“In the mid-term, Recruit seeks to further expand in the U.S. and globally through both organic growth and M&A investments,” the company said in a statement.

For the Glassdoor deal, Recruit was advised by Goldman Sachs while Sullivan & Cromwell LLP provided legal counsel. Qatalyst Partners acted as financial adviser to Glassdoor, while Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher was its legal adviser.


Founded in 2007, Glassdoor features profiles of companies and allows users to rate and review employers and top managers as well as provide information on interviews and salaries.

It has reviews and insights for 770,000 companies located in more than 190 countries, Glassdoor said in a statement.

“Glassdoor presents a powerful platform that is changing how people find jobs everywhere,” Recruit COO Hisayuki Idekoba said.

According to Recruit, Glassdoor had revenues of $170 million and a net loss of $22.2 million for the year ended March, and currently employs 750 people.

Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that Glassdoor was interviewing banks to advise on an IPO expected in the second half of the year, citing people familiar with the matter.

Recruit was established in 1960 as a job ad agency for a college newspaper, but has grown into a human resource services conglomerate, made up of staffing, job placement and marketing site operations. It reported an annual revenue of about 1.8 trillion yen ($16.44 billion) for the year ended March 2017.

Recruit shares were up about 3 percent by 0528 GMT, in a wider market .N225 that was down half a percent.

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim, Sayantani Ghosh and Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Himani Sarkar