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PUBLISHED: Aug 25, 2016 10:47am

Monster blasts MediaNews for ‘flawed’ criticism

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Source:
Reuters

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NEW YORK, 25 Aug 2016:

Monster Worldwide Inc said shareholder MediaNews Group Inc had made “flawed and uninformed assumptions” in its letter last week opposing the job sites operator’s buyout by Dutch staffing company Randstad.

MediaNews’ letter “attempts to put Randstad all-cash offer at risk without offering superior proposal,” Monster chief executive Tim Yates said in an open letter to investors yesterday.

He said MediaNews had called for Monster to cut costs and divest assets, “ignoring that more than US$100 million of annual operating expenses have already been cut over the past several years” and “that non-core or underperforming assets have already been divested.”

MediaNews has also urged cuts to capital expenditure, which has already been halved over the past several years, he said.

“Capital expenditures at the current reduced levels are needed for product enhancements to meet current, intensified competition,” Yates said.

MediaNews vice president Joe Anto said last week that Monster could boost its share price to US$6-8 by cutting costs, selling assets and changing strategic direction.

Yates said Monster would soon make public “the background and circumstances” surrounding the board’s decision to enter into the merger agreement with Randstad.

MediaNews, which offers news and advertising services and operates a jobs site focused on New England, said it had taken an 11.6% stake in Monster, the owner of Monsterboard and Jobs.com.

Randstad, the world’s second-largest staffing company, said on Aug 9 that it planned to buy Monster for US$429 million in cash and assumed debt.

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