Russian HeadHunter service prepares for IPO

Russian HeadHunter service prepares for IPO
Russia's largest job search site is planning a $250mn IPO this year
By bne IntelliNews April 12, 2019
Russia's leading job searching service HeadHunter prepares for a $250mn IPO in May-June 2019 on NASDAQ, Vedomosti daily reported on April 11 citing unnamed investment bankers and sources close to the shareholders of the company. 

HeadHunter originally planned to hold an IPO in December 2017, but had to postpone the offering due to sanctions' effect on the market. The offering could be organised by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, VTB Capital, Sberbank CIB, and BofA Merrill Lynch.

While not a single IPO or SPO was seen in 2018, since the start of this year a number of companies have announced deals including Polyus Gold which raised $390mn from a placement and rail operator RusTransCom that announced IPO plans, among others. However, the SPO by meat major Cherkizovo has failed, as reported by bne IntelliNews this week.

HeadHunter is the leader in the online recruitment segment in Russia with over 50% market share as well as in several neighboring Russian-speaking countries. In 2018 the classifieds market grew by 28% to RUB10.3bn, according to J'Son & Partners estimates cited by Vedomosti daily.

The start-up was founded in 2000 under the name ‘National Job Club’. Starting from 2007, Yuri Milner’s Digital Sky Technologies (which later became Mail.Ru Group) bought stakes in HeadHunter, but Mail.Ru Group sold the company in 2016.

HeadHunter’s new owners are “investors close to Alisher Usmanov,” a key shareholder of Digital Sky Technologies and Mail.Ru Group, notes industry observer Yury Amnosov.

Most recently Russia's largest bank Sberbank acquired 100% in Russia's third largest online recruitment service for an undisclosed amount, which could pose competitive threats to HeadHunter.