Monster.com could be takeover target According to Barron's

NEW YORK, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Monster Worldwide Inc.(NasdaqNM:MNST - News), parent of employment Web site Monster.com, could become a takeover target, despite its largest shareholder and chief executive's dismissal of the idea, according to Barron's business weekly.

Monster's shares are off 13 percent this year and 79 percent from their 2000 peak.

Given the prospects for an improved job market, the company, whose shares are now considered by some to be reasonably priced at about $28, may have takeover interest to many larger companies, including Yahoo Inc.(NasdaqNM:YHOO - News), eBay Inc.(NasdaqNM:EBAY - News), IAC/InterActiveCorp (NasdaqNM:IACI - News), Microsoft Corp. (NasdaqNM:MSFT - News) and Google Inc.(NasdaqNM:GOOG - News), Barron's speculated in its Aug. 23 edition.

Representatives from those companies could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

Monster is the world's leading online employment Web site with a No. 1 position in Germany, No. 2 in France and the United Kingdom and No. 1 in India.

Jim Treacy, a former Monster senior executive and a current shareholder, told Barron's he thinks the company could fetch at least $30 per share, if CEO Andrew McKelvey decided to sell.

But McKelvey told Barron's he sees great opportunities ahead for Monster.

"The only reason to sell is if a buyer can get you where you need to go quicker," he told Barron's. "We've done a pretty good job. ... We're not going to sell the company for $5 more than the current stock price.

McKelvey owns about 10 percent of the shares and controls 34 percent of the voting rights. But two institutional holders, who do not comment on their holdings, Capital Research and Fidelity Investments, control 30 percent of the shares, Barron's said.

Shares of Monster on Friday closed at $19.43 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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