Yelp share price rises 20 per cent on sale rumours

 
Emma Haslett
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The company could fetch as much as $3.5bn if a sale goes ahead (Source: Getty)

Is Yelp in talks with potential buyers? Its shareholders certainly seem confident it is: shares in the reviews site jumped more than 20 per cent today after a report suggested it had called in bankers to agree a possible sale.

An article in the Wall Street Journal said San Francisco-based Yelp had "been in touch with potential buyers in recent weeks" - although cautioned that a deal isn't imminent.

Nevertheless, shares rose to as much as $45.82 in mid afternoon trading in New York, before leveling out. It's positive news for the company, whose shares have fallen steadily since September last year. Last month, shares in Yelp fell 15 per cent in after-hours trading after it reported much slower growth in traffic to its site in the first quarter of this year - monthly unique visitors were up eight per cent to 143m, significantly down from the 30 per cent growth it experienced during the same period the year before.

The WSJ suggested that with a market capitalisation of $2.9bn (£1.9bn), the company could fetch more than $3.5bn in a sale - although it added that the company could decide against a sale altogether.

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