For the better part of 15 years, TMP was the 900-pound gorilla of the national Yellow Pages market. Some time in the late 1980s with Andy McKelvey at the helm, TMP began an aggressive CMR acquisition roll-up strategy.
By the mid 1990s, TMP had amassed as much as 40% of the national Yellow Pages market. About the same time, TMP, which had also been in the recruitment advertising business, happened upon the notion of online recruitment advertising. Monster.com was formed and as they say €œthe rest was history,€ as TMP went public in the middle of the dot-com bubble. TMP directory services continued to push and prod Yellow Pages publishers with their considerable market power. Earlier this week, the $500 million directory services business was sold for a net price of $52 million dollars €" or 0.1 times revenue. Assuming the business was clearing a 5 percent profit or $25 million, the company was sold for 2 times EBITDA – a rather pultry sum for a 900 -ound gorilla.