The buyout is being funded via VSS's Mezzanine Partners, an investment fund managed by the investment banking firm known for specializing in media industry deals, and for its annual reports benchmarking the communications industry's growth, including ad spending, and consumer use of media.
As part of the buyout agreement, TMP Worldwide's present management team, led by President-CEO Michelle Abbey, will continue to operate the business.
In a statement, Abby implied the move was partly strategic, and that TMP had some media neutrality issues while operating under the auspices of one of the world's biggest online employment sites. "Although we have always emphasized impartial media selection for our clients, our independence from Monster Worldwide further clarifies our strategy to provide the optimal, unbiased integrated mix of online and offline solutions for each customer," he said.
TMP was originally founded in 1967 as Telephone Marketing Programs, and began by focusing on Yellow Pages advertising sales, quickly emerging as one of the world's largest Yellow Pages agencies, according to its entry on Wikipedia. It entered the recruitment ad business in 1993 via a series of strategic acquisitions, quickly emerging as one of the leading recruitment shops.
In 1995, TMP acquired two of the earliest pioneers in the burgeoning online career marketplace: The Monster Board in April 1995, and the Online Career Center in 1995. TMP went public in December 1996, with its shares traded on Nasdaq. In 1998, TMP acquisitions expanded the Recruitment Advertising network and it became one of the largest recruitment advertising agencies in the world. In June 1998, The Monster Board moved its corporate headquarters out of a small office above a Chinese restaurant in downtown Framingham, Massachusetts to an old textile mill in Maynard, Massachusetts that formerly housed Digital Equipment Corporation. In January 1999, The Monster Board became known as Monster.com after merging with Online Career Center, another of TMP Worldwide's properties.