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NEW YORK, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Indeed, the online jobs search Website, has agreed to be bought by Japan's executive search firm Recruit Co Ltd for an undisclosed amount after several months of direct negotiations, its co-founder Paul Forster said.
Indeed, which was launched in 2004 and has doubled in revenue each of the past three years, had mulled going public but found Recruit's offer "very compelling," Forster said.
Morgan Stanley advised Indeed on the sale.
Employers, recruiters and job boards promote their job advertisements to millions of users on Indeed.com. In 2010, Indeed.com surpassed Monster.com in becoming the largest job site in the U.S. by unique visitors, according to comScore.
Union Square Ventures and the New York Times Co are principle investors in Indeed, with Allen & Co owning a smaller stake. The company raised $5 million in financing in 2005 with the three investors.
"That took us to profitability in 2007 and the company hasn't needed any additional outside funding since then," Forster said.
Although Forster would not disclose specific multiples, he said the investors have received "very healthy" returns.
Discussions with Recruit started as early as March, and although the company also spoke with a number of other parties, it did not run an auction process, Forster said. The deal requires regulatory approvals under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act in the United States, and is expected to close in early October.
The deal will allow Indeed to deepen its presence in Asia, while also continuing its expansion in Europe and the Americas. Indeed, with 550 employees, advertises jobs in over 50 countries and in 26 languages.
Recruit, which is privately held, has annual revenue of over $10 billion and more than 22,000 employees. Indeed co-founders Forster and Rony Kahan will stay on with the company, which will be run as an independent subsidiary of Recruit, Forster said.