Yelp Sale Process to Stall as Founder Decides to Wait

Yelp Founder Said to Temporarily Stall Sales Process

Yelp Inc., which hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to find a buyer, has temporarily decided not to pursue a sale, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The consumer-review website has had several interested suitors but isn’t pursuing a transaction in the immediate future, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. San Francisco-based Yelp may pursue a deal again if co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Stoppelman changes his mind, one of the people said.

Yelp dropped 12.2 percent to $37.26 as of 2:05 p.m. in New York, giving the company a market value of about $2.8 billion. Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal reported in May that Yelp was working with a bank to explore a sale. Yelp hired Goldman Sachs after receiving takeover interest, one of the people said.

Kayleigh Winslow, a spokeswoman for Yelp, said the company doesn’t comment on rumor or speculation

An acquirer that could help Yelp connect reviewers to making purchases may entice management to sell, people familiar with the matter said in May. Yelp could charge advertisers more amid the increased likelihood of a sale directly from the site.

Yelp's share price plunged after it was reported that it wouldn't be sold
Yelp's share price plunged after it was reported that it wouldn't be sold

About 1.5 million transactions were completed on Yelp Platform since its inception in July 2013, Stoppelman said in April. That’s significantly less than the 142 million average monthly visitors that checked out Yelp, either from a mobile device or computer, in the first quarter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Sherman in New York at +1-212-617-8278 or asherman6@bloomberg.net

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