Microsoft renews talks for alternative Yahoo deal
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Microsoft Corp. is once again trying to team up with Yahoo Inc. to challenge Internet search and advertising leader Google Inc., although at this point the renewed talks haven’t escalated to another attempt to take over Yahoo.
The Redmond, Wash.-based software maker disclosed the revived discussions Sunday without providing any specifics about the nature of the deal being explored except to say it involved bolstering the companies’ position in the online search and advertising markets. “There of course can be no assurance that any transaction will result from these discussions,” the statement said.
In a statement late Sunday, Yahoo said its board is exploring several “value maximizing” alternatives and “remain open to pursuing any transaction which is in the best interest of our stockholders.” Microsoft emphasized that it hasn’t resurrected a $47.5 billion takeover bid that its chief executive, Steve Ballmer, withdrew May 3 after Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang — acting on behalf of Yahoo’s board — demanded an additional $5.5 billion.
But Microsoft left open the possibility that it might dangle another buyout offer of Yahoo, depending on how the discussions progress between the two companies and their respective shareholders.
Yahoo is facing intense pressure from its shareholders to reopen sales negotiations, with activist investor Carl Icahn threatening to replace the Sunnyvale-based company’s entire board unless a deal can be working out before Yahoo’s July 3 annual meeting.
Although Microsoft hasn’t been in touch with Icahn yet, the software maker reached out to Yahoo after the billionaire revealed his plans Thursday to lead a shareholder mutiny, according to two people familiar with the current status of the discussions. These people requested anonymity because they aren’t authorized to speak on behalf of the companies.
Published in The Messenger 5.20.08