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Irishjobs.ie owner Saongroup bought by StepStone


Saongroup chief executive Ciaran McCooey

Saongroup chief executive Ciaran McCooey

Saongroup chief executive Ciaran McCooey

Saongroup, the owner of Irishjobs.ie, has been bought by Stepstone - a division of publisher Axel Springer.

The jobs portal firm, with operations in Ireland, South Africa and emerging markets, was sold by businessmen Denis O'Brien and Leslie Buckley for an undisclosed sum.

However, they will retain ownership of the Chinese arm of the business following the deal.

Saongroup was established in the 1990s - the part of the business that is being sold off has 300 employees.

“We are delighted to be joining StepStone with whom we have had a close relationship for many years through our membership of The Network," said Ciaran McCooey, chief executive of Saongroup.

"We consider StepStone to be the ideal partner for the future to reach the next level in terms of scale and operational excellence.”

StepStone, includes TotalJobs in the UK and operates some of the strongest online job portals worldwide with over 25 million visits and more than 260,000 jobs per month.  

Commenting on the deal, Mr Buckley, said: "Our focus going forward is now on the Chinese operation, in which we have invested heavily over the past six years and which has seen very significant growth.

"We recently acquired ChinaHR from Monster and are now the clear number three in the market.  Our objective is to continue to grow the business rapidly in China, which has been operating on a different parallel strategy to the remainder of the Group.

"It should be noted, that as part of the transaction, the Chinese operation is rebranding to ChinaHR."


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