Zhaopin Ltd., the Chinese online job-market operator controlled by Australia’s Seek Ltd. (SEK), picked Credit Suisse Group AG and UBS AG to work on an initial public offering, said two people with knowledge of the matter.
Zhaopin, based in Beijing, plans to sell shares in the U.S. as early as in the first half, said one of the people, who asked not be identified because the information is private. The IPO may raise more than $200 million, the people said.
Chinese companies raised $907 million in U.S. initial offerings last year, more than five times the amount for 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The value of such IPOs is poised to surge again this year as Beijing Jingdong Trading Co., the Chinese online retailer backed by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, prepares to raise about $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Seek, which runs the biggest Australian jobs website, owns about 80 percent of Zhaopin, Jason Lenga, head of Seek’s international business, said today in a telephone interview. Between Feb. 19, when Seek gained control of Zhaopin, and June 30, the Chinese unit contributed sales of A$49.9 million ($44.1 million) and a profit of A$4.8 million, the Melbourne-based company said in an Oct. 29 filing.
Seek’s Lenga declined to comment on details of the IPO. Officials at Zhaopin couldn’t immediately be reached.
Cavalane Holdings Pty, controlled by Australian casino billionaire James Packer, holds a 21.2 percent stake in Zhaopin, the filing showed. IDP Education, a student recruitment business 50 percent owned by Seek, said in November it planned an IPO in Australia this year, without giving details.
Since its first overseas acquisition in 2006, Seek has expanded to 12 regions including Brazil, Mexico and Africa, according to Lenga. It also owns about 69 percent of Hong Kong-based website Jobs DB.
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