According to the Wall Street Journal, Yelp is looking into selling itself.
“While we cannot at this time confirm the veracity of this report, this potential event does underscore what investors have been thinking on YELP shares since day one,” Credit Suisse’s Stephen Ju writes.
With at least one analyst seeing a 50% chance that Yelp gets bought, it’s worth thinking about this further.
But who’d benefit most from from buying this huge online review clearinghouse?
Ju identified six potential buyers. From his note to clients:
Google – “Yelp’s review data is a natural fit for its existing Maps product as well as its local advertising effort; while not necessarily an impediment, the one hurdle to consummating the deal may be that incoming CFO Ruth Porat does not start on the job until 26 May.”
Apple – “Data supplement to its iMaps product that it can leverage to catch up to Google Maps in terms of consumer experience.”
Amazon – “Logical fit with Amazon Local business and provides richer content for better demand generation for its partners.”
Yahoo – “Less of a strategic fit versus GOOGL or AAPL but will get company greater presence in local advertising market.”
Priceline – “Less important to its current hotels franchise but good strategic fit with its restaurants/OpenTable business and allows it to move up the consumer purchasing funnel as it already owns the transaction.”
Tripadvisor – “Natural fit given its already-robust presence in reviews/data; majority of its acquisitions to date has been to add to supply to cater to its demand, but that said it can be a good strategic fit with La Fourchette.”