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Monster Worldwide Advances Amid Takeover Speculation

Monster Worldwide Inc., the Internet recruiting service that is exploring a sale, rose the most in four months on speculation it may be making progress in the search for a buyer.

The shares advanced 6.3 percent to $7.55 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 8.8 percent since Feb. 29, the day before Chief Executive Officer Salvatore Iannuzzi said he would consider a sale.

“Speculation that the company is going to get sold is fueling the stock,” said Eric Handler, an analyst at MKM Partners LLC in Greenwich, Connecticut, in an interview today. “With the product portfolio and the global footprint, I think someone is out there who could extract value from the company.”

Potential buyers could include companies that specialize in software for corporations, he said, such as Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp., Inc., and SAP AG. News Corp. might also be interested in buying Monster to augment its online classified advertising, Handler said.

Representatives from Monster, Microsoft, News Corp., Salesforce, Oracle and SAP declined to comment.

Monster said on March 5 that it hired Stone Key Partners LLC and Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch to help it review strategic alternatives.

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