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Yelp Looking For $12 To $14 Per Share In IPO

MICHAEL LIEDTKE

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) â¿¿ Online review service Yelp rated its own business Thursday, setting an IPO target of $12 to $14 per share that could value the 7-year-old company as high as $840 million.

The setting of a price range signals Yelp is close to completing its initial public offering of stock. The process began three months ago when Yelp filed its plans to go public.

Although Thursday's filing didn't lay out a timetable, IPO pricings typically occur two to three weeks after the selling company spells out how much it wants for its stock. Yelp's shares will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol, "YELP."

The company, which is based in San Francisco, plans to sell 7.1 million shares while its charitable foundation will sell 50,000 shares. Investment bankers also have an option sell an additional 1.07 million shares, depending on investor demand.

At $14 per share, the IPO could raise as much as $115 million, before expenses.

Yelp Inc. could still end up getting more or less money in the IPO, depending on investor demand.

The interest in the IPOs of Internet companies with large audiences has been running hot and cold since professional networking service LinkedIn Corp. made its stock market debut nine months ago. LinkedIn has proven to be one of the top-performing Internet IPOs so far while others from Internet radio service Pandora Media Inc., online deal site Groupon Inc. and Web game maker Zynga Inc. have been greeted with less enthusiasm.

One of Yelp's online review rivals, Angie's List Inc., has seen its stock gain 19 percent since its IPO was priced at $13 per share in November. Angie's shares closed Thursday at $15.41, giving that company a market value of $757 million.

Yelp will be coming to market amid feverish anticipation for Facebook's IPO. The Internet social network filed its IPO papers at the beginning of this month, putting it on track to price its stock in May or June. Facebook Inc. is expected to be valued at $75 billion to $100 billion.

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