Yelp Founder Said to Temporarily Call Off Sale Talks

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This story originally appeared on Reuters

Yelp Inc, operator of consumer review website yelp.com, had temporarily decided not to pursue a sale, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The company has had several interested suitors after which it hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc to help find a buyer, Bloomberg said on Thursday.

The company's shares fell as much as 15 percent to a two-year low of $36.10 in afternoon trading. Yelp had a market capitalization of about $3.2 billion as of Wednesday's close.

Yelp may pursue a sale again if Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Stoppelman changes his mind, Bloomberg said. The report did not name the suitors or say why Stoppelman had taken the decision to halt the sale process.

The company could not immediately be reached for comment.

Yelp was working with investment bankers to explore a sale that could fetch more than $3.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported in May.

The company's subscriber growth has been slowing in an increasingly competitive U.S. market and it has been trying to expand in other markets and diversify into restaurant bookings, event management and payments.

(Reporting by Kshitiz Goliya in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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