Randstad Holding NV agreed to pay $429 million for jobs site Monster Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: MWW), one of the first e-commerce companies to go public in the 1990s at the dawn of the Internet era. Randstad will acquire Weston, Massachusetts-based Monster for $3.40 a share in cash, the companies said in a statement.
The sale marks the end of the road for a pioneer in Internet commerce. Monster went public in December 1996 when it was an advertising agency known as TMP Worldwide that placed ads in telephone directories. The company at the time touted a newer business, The Monster Board, an online jobs listing. The stock peaked on a split-adjusted basis at more than $86 a share at the height of the Internet bubble in March 2000, valuing the company at almost $8.4 billion.