(Reuters) - Private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC (APO.N) is in advanced talks to acquire U.S. job-hunting website CareerBuilder LLC after negotiations with another buyout firm ended unsuccessfully, according to people familiar with the matter.
CareerBuilder’s owners, TV station operator Tegna Inc (TGNA.N), broadcasting company Tribune Media Co (TRCO.N) and newspaper group McClatchy Co MNI.N, have been looking to cash out from what they regard as a non-core business.
Private equity firm GTCR Ltd was in the lead to acquire CareerBuilder for more than $1 billion, Reuters reported last month.
However, the exclusivity period GTCR had secured to negotiate a deal lapsed, the sources said on Tuesday.
Apollo is now negotiating a deal that would value CareerBuilder at more than $500 million, including debt, according to the sources.
There is no guarantee that Apollo and CareerBuilder will reach a deal, the sources cautioned, asking not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential.
Apollo and Tribune declined to comment, while CareerBuilder, Tegna, McClatchy and GTCR could not immediately be reached for comment.
CareerBuilder has been up for sale at a time when many popular job websites have become acquisition targets as they struggle to translate user growth into profits. Last September, credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service called CareerBuilder’s operating performance “weak.”
DHI Group Inc (DHX.N), operator of the information technology and engineering job website Dice, said in November it was carrying out a review to explore strategic alternatives.
Tegna announced last year that it would explore options for its 53 percent stake in CareerBuilder, and said it expected to complete its strategic review in the first half of 2017. It also said it would spin off its auto-sales website Cars.com, which will be completed on May 31.
CareerBuilder generated revenues from its subscription offering of $162 million in 2016, up 8 percent from 2015, according to regulatory filings.
Reporting by Liana B. Baker in San Francisco and Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Tom Brown and Lisa Shumaker