Activist Starboard builds over 6.5% stake in Tinder owner Match, WSJ reports By Reuters

(Reuters) -Activist investor Starboard has a position in Tinder owner Match of more than 6.5% and is pushing for a possible sale if a turnaround isn’t successful, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Shares of Match rose nearly 9% in extended trading following the report.

Starboard believes Match should improve Tinder, which represents more than half of the company’s total revenue, and also sees opportunities for the Hinge business among other emerging apps, according to the report.

It also believes Match should consider going private if it fails to make the changes, including more aggressive share buybacks, the report added.

Match continued to remain focused on Tinder’s growth and Hinge’s expansion, a spokesperson for the company said in an emailed statement, adding that the company would “look forward to continuing our open dialogue with all of our investors, including Starboard.”

Starboard did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

Activists investor Elliott has pushed for improvement in Match’s performance and also named Instacart (NASDAQ:) executive Laura Jones and Zillow (NASDAQ:) co-founder Spencer Rascoff to its board in March this year.

Investment firm Anson Funds Management had also amassed a stake and was pushing Match to refresh its board, Bloomberg News reported in March.

Match offers dating apps – including Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid – and has been grappling with slowing revenue due to weaker discretionary spending by users in an uncertain economy.

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