MarEx Talks to CFO of Dice Holdings on Acquisition of Rigzone

The Combination of Dice Holdings, Inc. and Rigzone Creates the Leading Global Player in Online Energy Recruiting.

Building on its position in energy industry recruiting, Dice Holdings, Inc. a leading provider of specialized career websites for professional communities, announced Thursday, it has completed the purchase of Rigzone, a U.S. market leader in the oil and gas industry delivering content, data, advertising and career services.

Known as the online gateway to the oil and gas industry, Rigzone is the world’s most-used source for upstream oil and gas news and data, including in-depth information on the exploration, drilling and production markets. Rigzone has built a valuable and largely-passive community with more than 500,000 unique visitors each month and more than 270,000 resumes in their database covering skills ranging from production operators to petroleum engineers.

The purchase price consists of initial consideration of $39 million in cash. Additional consideration to a maximum of $16 million in cash is payable upon the achievement of certain operating and financial goals through June 30, 2011.

A Conversation with Michael Durney, SVP, Finance & CFO, Dice Holdings, Inc.

MarEx: Rigzone is an icon of the maritime and offshore industry. Congratulations on its purchase.

Durney:Thanks, we’re pretty excited about it.

MarEx:Tell me a little bit more about Dice.

Durney:Let me separate Dice Holdings from Dice the service, because Dice Holdings is the parent company. We own a variety of online recruiting sites serving various employment specialties and industries. The biggest is Dice and Dice.com has been around for almost 20 years, serving technology and engineering professionals. Dice was one of the first job boards, launched in 1990, before there was a commercial Internet. Dice existed, as a online job board service accessible through CompuServe.

So Dice.com served tech and engineering. We also own a site called eFinancialCareers.com, which serves the financial services community; that was a site that was launched in London about ten years ago, and now it serves about 18 markets around the world.

We own a site called ClearanceJobs that focuses on people with active government security clearance, which is a highly specialized area.

We own a small site that was launched a couple years ago called AllHealthcareJobs.

We also own a site called WorldwideWorker.com which served the oil and gas and a little more broadly the energy fields, that was created and launched in the Netherlands about 10 years ago. It is quite successful outside the U.S.. And then today we bought Rigzone, which the counter part of Worldwide Worker, obviously much more focused on the U.S., one distinction between worldwide worker and Rigzone is worldwide worker is focused almost exclusively on recruitment where Rigzone historically has been an information source including career related information as one of its offerings.

MarEx: What was the impetus for the purchase by Dice Holdings Corporation?

Durney: From an online recruiting business we focus on categories that meet a handful of criteria. Those are industries or professions where people tend to be highly paid, where there’s difficulty or high cost to recruit, where there is some level of skill specificity or degree specificity, where there is a community aspect, people think of themselves as part of a group and lastly and importantly high turnover, what we refer to as high velocity of change.

Each of those categories, the professions that meet that criteria, tend to be really good online recruiting sectors and those are the ones we focus on and that’s the core of our business but the goal of our company is to be in those sectors. Oil and gas specifically, and energy more broadly meet that criteria. We love the oil and gas business and we love the energy business. We bought WorldwideWorker in part to expand internationally. Until we bought WorldwideWorker the only business we had operating outside the U.S. was eFinancialCareers, which was launched in London. So Rigzone is focused primarily in the U.S., but the energy business generally we think is a great business for providing a specialist service in online recruiting and both worldwide worker and Rigzone do that.

MarEx: Rigzone is only a webiste, correct? Do they publish anything beyond what they do on the web?

Durney:They have in the past, they don’t currently, that’s correct.

MarEx: With the integration of Rigzone, will your concentration be on the drilling hot spots-international markets like Indonesia, Brazil, Venezuela and other places?, Are you looking to integrate into these markets?

Durney: Certainly we will go where there is high demand and the markets you mentioned have high demand. Rigzone has the ability to provide information and resources throughout the world in conjunction with the WorldwideWorker business and that is an area of focus from an expansion standpoint. Certainly in the U.S. there’s room for the Rigzone business to expand as well.

MarEx: What are you going to with the infrastructure of Rigzone, are you going to integrate it or leave it alone?

Durney: It’s a combination of both;, we will provide resources to the Rigzone team, which is one of the things we’ve focused on when we’ve made acquisitions in the past. We think Dice Holdings is pretty good at certain things related to the online recruiting business. They will continue to run their business with help from us. The team that’s in Houston will move forward and we expect to add some resources and people over time.

MarEx: Is Dice Holdings a publically traded company?

Durney: Yes

MarEx: What is the company’s annual sales?

Durney: This year revenue will be about $120 million.

MarEx: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. This is a great purchase and congratulations!

Durney: Thank you, good talking with you.