51job, Inc. (Nasdaq: JOBS), a recruitment marketplace in China announced on November 8 that its privatization plan may not be completed in the second half of 2021 as planned due to the regulatory changes in China.

On 21 June 2021, 51Job announced a definitive agreement and plan of merger with Garnet Faith Limited, an exempted company, to be taken private for $5.7 billion. The deal was expected as one of the largest deals recorded for a recruitment marketplace business.

The company’s most recent announcement notes that certain members of the buyer consortium have been “in consultation with Chinese regulators on recent regulatory changes” and “a clear timeline to its completion cannot be provided at this time.”

The consortium of investors includes DCP Capital Partners, Ocean Link Partners, 51Job’s CEO/co-founder Rick Yan, and Japan-based recruitment giant Recruit Holdings, the company’s largest shareholder.

According to the terms of the deal initially announced, 51Job’s shareholders would receive $79.05 for each American depositary share they own. The news of the speculated delay of the privatization sent the company’s share price down by 19.24% for the day.

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