MSN is taking the next step in its three-year relationship with CareerBuilder.
The companies said Wednesday they are extending their alliance, through a combination of Microsoft acquiring 4% equity stake in the company and new global growth plans.
As part of the alliance extension, CareerBuilder will pay MSN up to $443 million over the course of seven years to serve as the exclusive job-search engine on the MSN Careers channel.
So just what kind of promotion does MSN Careers get?
MSN.com gets approximately 465 million unique visitors worldwide each month and in 42 markets and 21 languages, according to James McClamroch, general manager of MSN Business Development and Partnerships.
“We also have more than 268 million active accounts worldwide for Windows Live Hotmail and 263 million active accounts worldwide for Windows Live/MSN Messenger,” he says.
Microsoft’s equity stake, the companies explain, will secure a global alliance.
“It enables CareerBuilder to continue to grow faster in the U.S. than any other job site while leveraging a strong international platform to quickly enter new markets in Europe and all over the world,” said CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson, in a release.
Specifically, MSN says it will use CareerBuilder as the exclusive job-search engine for key MSN sites in Europe through 2013. It recently acquired Jobbguiden in Sweden and JobbingMall in The Netherlands.
The companies say they have big plans to continue European growth. MSN will launch CareerBuilder in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands in the second half of 2007 with more to follow in 2008.
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“CareerBuilder’s international strategy has always been to evaluate the specific market and consider the most effective way to gain entry, whether it be through organic growth, a partnership, or an acquisition. We will continue to apply this strategy going forward,” says McClamroch.
Citing corporate policy, Microsoft will not disclose the specifics of the deal, including how much it paid for the 4% stake.
However, John Zappe with Classified Intelligence claims it could be in the range of $62 million.
Zappe’s observation is “based on a valuation announced last summer when partners Gannett and Tribune bought some of the shares McClatchy inherited when it bought Knight Ridder. Reports filed then valued CareerBuilder at $1.55 billion,” he wrote in an email briefing.
CareerBuilder has been the exclusive job-search engine for MSN since January 2004. CareerBuilder says it averages more than 21 million unique visitors per month, due in part to its relationship with Microsoft.
In May 1999, Microsoft invested $17.8 million for a minority stake in CareerBuilder. At that time, the companies joined together to develop a private-label career center for MSN.
CareerBuilder is jointly owned by Microsoft, Gannett Co., Tribune Co., and The McClatchy Co.