Yelp shares surge 8pc after talk of US$3.5bn sale

8 May 2015

Yelp shares surged on back of sale rumours

Despite spurning an offer from Google five years ago, business review service Yelp is understood to be exploring a sale. Valued at US$3.5bn, the company’s shares surged 8pc overnight as sale talks emerged.

Started by former PayPal executives Jeremy Stoppelman and Russ Simmons, Yelp is understood to be exploring the idea of a sale but hasn’t yet held formal discussions with other companies.

The company is believed to be in talks with investment bankers and is sounding out potential buyers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Potential acquirers could include Google and Microsoft, as they could see synergies with their respective Google Maps and Bing Maps businesses. Another potential acquirer could be Apple, which has begun including business listings with its own mapping product.

If sold, Yelp could achieve a value of US$3.5bn.

Last week, Yelp’s stock sunk after results showed a slowdown in user growth. Yelp reported 143m active monthly users, up 8pc, compared with a 30pc growth a year earlier.

Shares in Yelp grew 8pc from US$39 to US$41 a share as the news emerged, .

Yelp image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years