June 6th, 2012. SEEK, the largest provider of online employment services in Australia and New Zealand, announced its acquisition of majority ownership in both Brasil Online and Online Career Center (OCC) Mexico. Brasil Online is the owner of Catho Online. Both Catho and OCC Mexico are the leading job boards in their respective countries as measured by unique visitors per month.
SEEK paid $78.8 million to increase its stake in Brasil Online from 30% to 51%, and $22.5 million to increase its stake in OCC Mexico from 41% to 57%. This investment values Brasil Online at $375.24 million and OCC at $140.63 million (USD). SEEK’s Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bassat stated, “Our involvement with Brasil Online and OCC to date confirms our strong belief in the future potential for online employment advertising in Latin America, and our further investment is a great step to growing SEEK’s exposure in this developing region”.
This high valuation of both companies is driven by strong fundamentals in the form of high rates of utilization by both job seekers and companies looking for workers. Catho Online has a total of 5.3 million unique visitors per month, 123,000 jobs listed each month, and 5,000 unique paying employers; OCC has 3 million unique visitors a month, 11,000 active employers, and more than 93,000 job advertisements, representing over 80% of Mexico’s paid job postings.
For Brasil Online, with $92.6 million in Revenues over the past 12 months this implies a Price to Sales Ratio of 4.1. For OCC with $13.7 million in revenues this implies a P/S of 10.2.
These numbers are indicative of the strength of the online jobs market in emerging markets in Latin America like Brail and Mexico. Labor markets are largely inefficient in these countries: workers lack of information on where and how to find jobs, and companies are constantly starved for the qualified talent they need to run their businesses. Especially as Internet and mobile access has grown across the region, both workers and employers have increasingly turned to online solutions, such as Catho Online and OCC. The recent acquisitions by SEEK are just one more indicator that this growth of the online jobs market in Latin America is unlikely to cease any time soon.