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StepStone, the European online jobs site, announced yesterday that it was continuing with its international growth strategy by acquiring UK job board, Totaljobs Group, for approximately €132 million (approximately £110 million).
Speaking about the acquisition John Nurthen, Executive Director International Development, at Staffing Industry Analyst said: “This is a significant development combining two of the largest job boards in Europe and consolidating the market as it sees increasing pressure from alternative online media. The news is not wholly surprising given the two firms have been founding partners, since 2002, in ‘The Network’, a formal alliance of 49 leading recruitment job boards committed to online recruitment in more than 120 countries.”
As well as operating through the Totaljobs brand, the company also runs a number of niche job boards including:
- CareerStructure.com - For building, civil engineering or design jobs in the construction industry
- Caterer.com - For catering and hospitality professionals
- Catererglobal.com - For international hospitality jobs
- CWJobs.co.uk - The specialist for contract and permanent IT jobs
- H2Office.co.uk - For PA, secretarial and other office professionals
- HOTELScareers.com - For hospitality jobs in the USA
- RetailChoice.com - Careers for retail professionals
- SalesTarget.co.uk - Jobs for sales professionals
Dr. Jens Müffelmann, Head of Electronic Media at Axel Springer AG: “By acquiring Totaljobs Group, StepStone further expands its market share over competitors and its position as one of the leading European online job portals. Therefore, StepStone now reaches a clear number one position also in the important British online job portal market.”
This is not the first time Stepstone has featured in the UK market, however, the first foray was not successful. Under previous management, the company closed down its British operations in November 2001 at the height of the dot com collapse with the loss of 136 jobs.
The acquisition comes at the same time as international competitor, Monster Worldwide Inc., is undergoing a strategic review which has led some to conclude that this is a prelude to a bid for the company.
Totaljobs had been owned by Reed Elsevier, the Anglo-Dutch publishing and events group, and was founded in 1999, employing a staff of over 340 people. It claims to be the largest online recruitment business in the UK and also has a presence in the Netherlands (overlapping Stepstone’s Dutch portal). Every month, according to the company, more than seven million unique visitors use the Totaljobs Group’s platforms, making over four million applications. In 2011, Totaljobs Group served more than 24,000 UK companies of all sizes and industries, as well as recruitment and advertising agencies.
Founded in 1996, StepStone employs around 500 people and is a subsidiary of Berlin-based Axel Springer. The company operated in nine European markets and now, ten with the acquisition of Totaljobs.