51job, Inc.’s Take Private Deal

Fangda, Kirkland & Ellis and Paul, Weiss advised a buyer consortium on the deal. Conyers, working alongside Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, acted as Cayman Islands advisor for Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd, the largest shareholder. Simpson Thacher represented 51job, while Davis Polk advised the special committee of the board of directors of 51job. Ogier represented DCP Capital, Ocean Link and Rick Yan.

Under the merger agreement, except the continuing shareholder, the buyer consortium will pay US$79.05 per common share/American Depositary Share (ADS) to acquire the remaining shares and ADSs in 51job, implying a deal value of about US$5.7 billion. 51job will be delisted from NASDAQ after the privatization.

The merger is expected to close during the second half of 2021.

The consortium intends to fund the merger through a combination of cash contributions from certain members of the consortium pursuant to their respective equity commitment letters, equity contributions from certain shareholders of 51job, Inc. and proceeds from a US$1,825,000,000 facility provided by China Merchants Bank Co., Ltd.as the sole original mandated lead arranger and the lead underwriter, and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co., Ltd. as the original joint mandated lead arranger and the co-lead underwriter, together with available cash of 51job, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

51job is a leading provider of integrated human resource services in China. With a comprehensive suite of HR solutions, 51job meets the needs of enterprises and job seekers through the entire talent management cycle, from initial recruitment to employee retention and career development.

The consortium comprises DCP Capital, Ocean Link, and 51job’s chief executive officer, Rick Yan. Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd. also participated in the deal as the current shareholder.

The Fangda team was led by partners Leo Lou (Picture), Dalin Cong, Caroline Huang, Stanley Chen and Gil Zhang, and team members included Zichao Wu, Lena Chen, Jichao Chang, Hanzhi Jiang, Brown Lin, Huihui Li, Kaixian Zheng, Yizhu Mao and Harry Xu.

The Conyers team consisted of Partner Matthew Stocker and Counsel Alex Davies.

The S&C team was led by Brian Hamilton (Picture), Garth Bray (Hong Kong) and Lauren Boehmke. Jamie Logie (Hong Kong) is advising on financing matters.

The Simpson Thacher’s team representing 51job included Ian Ho, Katie Sudol and Sonya Ho (M&A); and Dan Fertig (Capital Markets).

The Kirkland team was led by transactional partner Daniel Dusek and debt finance partner Jacqueline Zheng and included transactional partner Joseph Raymond Casey, registered foreign lawyer Min Lu, legal consultant Elaine Xu, and debt finance associates Sean Zhang and Magdalene Lu.

The Davis Polk corporate team included partners Miranda So and Howard Zhang, counsel Yunpeng Fan and associates Jie Zhang, Rebecca Yang, Lucy Cai and Tianying Xie. Partner Nick Benham and associate Claudia Herron provided finance advice. Counsel Alon Gurfinkel and associate Omer Harel provided tax advice.

The Paul, Weiss team included corporate partners Judie Ng Shortell and Tong Yu; litigation partner Christopher Frey; antitrust counsel Marta Kelly and Yuni Sobel; and international trade counsel Richard Elliott.

Ogier’s deal team, based in its Hong Kong office, was led by partner Nathan Powell on corporate matters and partner David Nelson on debt finance matters and includes corporate managing associates Florence Chan and Alan Au, corporate paralegal Jenson Ng, banking senior associate Kendrick Cheung and banking associate Sara Law.

Involved fees earner: Alex Davies – Conyers Dill & Pearman; Matthew Stocker – Conyers Dill & Pearman; Nicholas Benham – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Lucy Cai – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Yunpeng Fan – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Alon Gurfinkel – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Omer Harel – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Claudia Herron – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Miranda So – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Tianying Xie – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Rebecca Yang – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Jie Zhang – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Howard Zhang – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Jichao Chang – Fangda Partners; Stanley Chen – Fangda Partners; Lena Chen – Fangda Partners; Dalin Cong – Fangda Partners; Caroline Huang – Fangda Partners; Hanzhi Jiang – Fangda Partners; Huihui Li – Fangda Partners; Brown Lin – Fangda Partners; Leo Lou – Fangda Partners; Yizhu Mao – Fangda Partners; Zichao Wu – Fangda Partners; Harry Xu – Fangda Partners; Gil Zhang – Fangda Partners; Kaixian Zheng – Fangda Partners; Daniel Dusek – Kirkland & Ellis; Min Lu – Kirkland & Ellis; Magdalene Lu – Kirkland & Ellis; Sean Zhang – Kirkland & Ellis; Jacqueline Zheng – Kirkland & Ellis; Alan Au – Ogier LLP; Florence Chan – Ogier LLP; Kendrick Cheung – Ogier LLP; Sara Law – Ogier LLP; David Nelson – Ogier LLP; Nathan Powell – Ogier LLP; Richard Elliott – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; Christopher Frey – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; Marta Kelly – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; Judie Ng Shortell – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; Yuni Sobel – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; Tong Yu – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; Daniel Fertig – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Ian Ho – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Sonya Ho – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Kathryn King Sudol – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Joseph Casey – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Lauren Boehmke – Sullivan & Cromwell; Garth Bray – Sullivan & Cromwell; Brian Hamilton – Sullivan & Cromwell; Jamieson Logie – Sullivan & Cromwell;

Law Firms: Conyers Dill & Pearman; Davis Polk & Wardwell; Fangda Partners; Kirkland & Ellis; Ogier LLP; Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Sullivan & Cromwell;

Clients: 51job; 51job -Board of Directors; DCP Capital ; Ocean Link Partners; Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd.; Rick Yan ;

Author: Sonia Carcano