Yelp Goes With Goldman Sachs Group (GS) and Citigroup Inc. (C) for its IPO
The review site, Yelp Inc., is said to have chosen heavyweights Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Citigroup Inc to lead its IPO come 2012. That is according to two persons familiar with the deal.
The sources, however, pointed out that the San Francisco-based Yelp has not settled on the number of shares it will offer. According to Wall Street Journal, which also reported Yelp’s plan to host an IPO earlier this year, the company will be worth at about $2 billion after the initial public offering.
As the stock market gets swamped, Yelp has differentiated itself from Groupon Inc. by scaling back a foray into the deal-of-the-day business. In an August interview, vice-president of corporate communications, Vince Sollitto, said that the company moved around 15 salespersons from Yelp Deals to other fields of business. He also added that the number of deals users receive via email is likely to remain the same.
This past week, top daily-deal site Groupon piled up $700 million its IPO. It was the biggest U.S. initial public offering by an internet company since Google’s IPO in 2004.
Andrea Rachman, Mark Costiglio and Stephanie Ichinose; spokespersons for Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Yelp in that order, all declined to comment for the deal is yet to be formalized.
Yelp’s IPO will be an ideal opportunity to lift returns at Elevation Partners, a private equity unit that has Bono, the U2 singer, and Roger McNamee as part of its investment team. Last year, California-based Menlo Park bought 20% stake, valued at $100 million, in Yelp. The success of the IPO would mean a $2-billion valuation for Yelp, something that would subsequently leave Elevation’s stake at around $400 million. Elevation Partners also has stake valued at about $1.2 billion in Facebook Inc, the company behind popular social-network Facebook.com. Additionally, Elevation is an investor in Palm Inc-now part of HP- and real-estate firm, Move Inc.
The date of the offering as well as details such as the symbol Yelp will trade under are yet to be revealed.