HotJobs Prefers Yahoo Buyout Over TMP's Offer

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HotJobs.com Ltd. on Christmas Eve told suitor TMP Worldwide Inc. -- owner of rival Monster.com -- that it has received a "superior proposal" from Yahoo Inc.


The Yahoo offer takes advantage of a better-offer clause in the merger agreement June 29 between New York-based HotJobs and TMP. Yahoo will offer $10.50 per HotJobs share, split equally between cash and stock.


"We believe that the combination of Yahoo and HotJobs would create a powerful new force in the recruitment marketplace ... we look forward to entering into an agreement with HotJobs and consummating a transaction as quickly as possible," according to a statement from Sunnyvale, CA-based Yahoo.


Research conducted by Media Metrix claims HotJobs.com as the No. 1 job board for the months of July, August, September and October. But it faces stiff competition from acknowledged market leader Monster.com.


TMP has until 9 a.m. tomorrow to come up with a counteroffer. If it does not, then HotJobs' board of directors will recommend Yahoo's offer to the shareholders. So far, the HotJobs directors' recommendation to merge with TMP stands.


If it ends its merger deal, HotJobs will pay TMP a $15 million termination fee and a reimbursement of up to $2 million for proven expenses for accountants, financial advisers and lawyers.


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