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Monster Worldwide Falls on Report PE Buyout Talks Ended

Monster Worldwide Inc., the Internet recruiting service that is exploring a sale, fell the most in two months after DealReporter said talks with a private equity firm over a potential buyout had ended.

Shares fell 9.3 percent to $7.30 at 4 p.m. in New York, the biggest decline since Aug. 2. DealReporter said Monster Worldwide and a U.S.-based private equity firm stopped talks several days ago, citing unidentified people.

Monster, which first said in March it was considering a sale, has been trimming its workforce and cutting costs after European economic turmoil caused clients to pare use of its products and companies such as LinkedIn Corp. provide alternate ways to find staff. Chief Executive Officer Sal Iannuzzi is trying to reverse an 82 percent decline in the stock since he took the helm April 11, 2007.

The shares are up 5.2 percent since Feb. 29, the day before Iannuzzi said he would weigh selling the company. 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.

Andi Rose, a spokeswoman for New York-based Monster, declined to comment on whether talks with private equity firms have ended.

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