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Monster Worldwide Hires Bankers for Strategic Plan; Shares Jump

Monster Worldwide Inc. (MWW), the online recruiting service, hired Stone Key Partners LLC and Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch to help it review strategic alternatives.

Monster shares jumped 8.4 percent to $8.15 in extended trading following the company’s statement. They had risen 1.6 percent to $7.52 at the close in New York. At a conference on March 1, Chief Executive Officer Salvatore Iannuzzi said he is weighing options to boost investor value.

Iannuzzi has already said he will cut costs at Monster to cope with the slow economic recovery and competition from sites such as LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD) that offer businesses less expensive ways to recruit employees. The New York-based company said earlier this year that it would eliminate about 400 jobs, or 7 percent of its workforce, after the European economic crisis led users to visit the job-search website less.

Whether Monster was serious about seeking alternatives “was an open question in some people’s mind,” Tobey Sommer, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc. in Nashville, Tennessee, said in a telephone interview. “Now that they’ve hired bankers, that solves it.”

Sommer said that if the company is acquired, a takeover could generate as much as $100 million in cost savings, mostly from general and administrative, corporate and marketing expenses.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in New York at sfrier1@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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