Yahoo! fights for its shareholders support
On Thursday, Yahoo reiterated its basic willingness to sell all of its shares to software giant Microsoft. Yahoo told its shareholders in a letter that the minimum price for the deal is $33 per share. Yahoo added it could also imagine selling only its core business, internet searches, under certain circumstances. After several failed attempts to take over Yahoo, Microsoft has entered into negotiations with Internet portal operator AOL. According to the Wall Street Journal, the two companies are now discussing a possible merger in the online sector.
For some time now, Microsoft has not shown any interest in a complete takeover of Yahoo. Carl Icahn, a major shareholder, who originally spoke out against a sale of the search division after spending months opposing the takeover bid, surprised everyone last weekend by performing an about-face with a proposal to Yahoo executives for a takeover plan worked up with Microsoft for the internet search division.
At Yahoo's general meeting of shareholders on August 1, Icahn plans to have his own supporters force the company to enter into a deal with Microsoft against the current board's wishes. In addition, he is banking on help from a number of shareholders who are unhappy about Yahoo's refusal to accept Microsoft's first takeover bid for $32 per share.
Various news sources also report that Yahoo is itself conducting negotiations with AOL, a member of the Time Warner Group. Time Warner is looking for a new strategy for its Internet division, which has been performing poorly. But as Richard Greenfield, an analyst at Pali Capital, told the New York Times, it is unlikely that any deal will be reached with AOL until Yahoo shareholders have made their own decision. He says "I don't see why anyone would make a move now with all the pieces on the chess board where they are".