Yelp Inc. (YELP) has retained JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Evercore Inc. as it faces an M&A-focused campaign launched by Eric Semler’s TCS Capital Management LLC, sources told The Deal.
In May, Semler and TCS, which owns about 4%, argued in a letter that CEO and co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman is the main obstacle to an improvement in the company’s share price. The fund suggested that Yelp could be sold for at least $70 a share, significantly greater than its $42.81 trading price on Wednesday afternoon, or it could explore a tax-free merger with Angi Inc. (ANGI), which owns Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor.
It is unclear whether Evercore and JPMorgan are advising Yelp in response to the activist, or in response to any unsolicited bids. Companies routinely hire banks when faced with an activist.
In a statement, Yelp said it doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation.
Shares of Yelp popped almost 5% higher on The Deal’s report, which appeared on our premium platform.