I never took to Monster's job board with its awkward, multi-page intake process, yet the talk continues of a possible buyout above its current three-times-revenue market cap. Perhaps its international plays are making up for its crash here in the U.S. On the other hand, Socalkidinboston plays down the buyout options:
1. Google - do they really want bloated technology with a book of business that doesn't fit any of their models? Doubtful.
2. News Corp - possible, they do like to acquire. But they have larger acquisitions they're trying to swallow right now. Maybe end of the year when full year results plunge the stock.
3. AOL - have shown no interest in getting involved in an acquisition of this size.
4. Ebay and Craigslist are feuding right now. Ebay has larger problems and Craigslist won't let them have that much control. I suppose that would make Paypal the official currency of Monster.
5. CBS - CNET was a much depressed stock that had gone through serious layoffs and was somewhat on the brink. CBS will have a time integrating this before they start to go out and buy up other internet properties.
6. Careerbuilder - no way. Government wouldn't allow that much industry consolidation unless MNST was about to go bankrupt.
7. NY Times - just don't see it. They'll happily have alliances that work to their advantages. Why have the headaches of owning if you can lease?
8. Private Equity firm - most likely scenario. Take advantage of the cash that's there.
Likely price? $32-34 fair market value - a 15-20% premium. Rare are the absolute overpays like CNET or Yahoo (which was a hostile takeover - Monster would probably welcome any takeover offer at this point.)