Online job advertising company SEEK Limited (ASX:SEK) believes the international companies it has invested in are well-positioned for growth as internet penetration improves in their various markets.
In a presentation to investors, the company said it has a policy of investing in foreign companies that are or could become market leaders, and can demonstrate a track record of growth.
The company said it had already made a strong return on its investments in Malaysia's JobStreet, and that its share of China's Zhaopin's profit had swung from a negative figure to 3.6 billion yuan ($505.9 million) in 1H11.
SEEK has a 42.9% stake in Zhaopin and 22.4% JobStreet, as well as holdings in Brasil Online and Mexico's OCC.
SEEK Asia has also executed a deal to buy 60% of Jobs DB, which operates in Thailand, Indonesia, Southern China, the Philippines and Malaysia, as well as the mature internet markets of Hong Kong and Singapore.
SEEK Limited owns 69% of SEEK Asia, along with Consolidated Media Holdings, Macquarie Capital and Tiger Global.
The purchase price for the 60% stake will be HK$1.59 billion ($204.7 million), of which SEEK's investment is around $142 million.
Many of the markets the various companies serve are projected to see strong gains in internet penetration, Seek said. Brazil's internet penetration for example is currently only 36% and Mexico's is just 27%, leaving ample room for growth.
SEK shares grew 0.14% in Tuesday's trading to $6.940.
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.