Shearman & Sterling advised the Board of Directors of the US-listed Chinese online recruiting portal Zhaopin Limited (NYSE: ZPIN) on its acquisition by SEEK International Investments Pty Ltd. (SEEK), the current controlling shareholder of Zhaopin, and two Chinese private equity investors, namely Hillhouse Capital Group (Hillhouse) and FountainVest Partners (FountainVest), at an implied equity value of approximately US$1 billion. The transaction is expected to close during the second half of 2017 and is subject to various closing conditions. If the transaction is completed, Zhaopin will become privately held and cease to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Zhaopin is a leading career platform in China with a focus in connecting job seekers with relevant job opportunities throughout their career lifecycle. The online recruiting portal has more than 129.5 million registered users comprising diverse and educated job seekers who are in demand by employers due to the general shortage of skilled and educated workers in China.
SEEK is a diverse group of companies that has a unified purpose to help people live more fulfilling and productive working lives and to help organizations succeed. Hillhouse takes a long-term approach to investing and actively engages with entrepreneurs to build franchise value and access growth in Asia, and focuses primarily on the consumer, TMT, healthcare and financials and business services sectors. It currently manages over $20 billion for global institutions including university endowments, foundations, sovereign funds, family offices and pensions. FountainVest is a leading China-focused private equity firm and focuses on long-term-oriented investments and targets high-growth industry leaders in media and entertainment, consumer retail, Internet, healthcare and industrials.
The Shearman & Sterling team included partner Stephanie Tang (Hong Kong-Mergers & Acquisitions); and associates Richard Ou (Shanghai-Mergers & Acquisitions) and Weina Guan (Beijing-Mergers & Acquisitions).