Guardian takes a bath on Workthing

Hotgroup buys jobs site

Guardian Media Group has sold its recruitment website Workthing for £6m to the hotgroup PLC.

GMG's PeopleBank Technology unit which provides recruitment technology for workthing and other sites, is included in the deal. GMG spent a rumoured £30m on the site which never turned a profit. Hotgroup has already bought four sites this year and claims the latest makes it the UK's biggest online recruitment site.

Tony Reeves, chairman and CEO of hotgroup, said: "Today's acquisition of Workthing makes hotonline the UK's number one online recruitment provider in terms of numbers of monthly jobseekers and by the size of its candidate database. Most significantly we have acquired one of the UK's leading consumer jobseeker brands and a strong new corporate customer base."

Harvey Sinclair, managing director of hotonline.com, said online recruitment is going through extremely rapid growth, similar to that seen in the US. "In 2002 the average number of monthly jobseekers accessing our network of sites was 100,000. Today, this number is nearly 900,000. With the acquisition of Workthing we will add about another 500,000 users."

In November 2003 the hotgroup bought Jobsin.co.uk, in January 2004 it bought NetRecruit and in May it picked up Gis-a-job and Jobs Financial. Additional funding for the acquisition was provided by chairman Tony Reeves and non-executive director James Donald Hanson.

Press release here. ®

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