See Ya! Wouldn't Want to Be Ya
Microsoft’s walked. As first reported by BoomTown, Microsoft (MSFT), which had threatened to abandon its hostile bid for Yahoo (YHOO) a number of times over the past month, did just that on Saturday.
The company confirmed to BoomTown that merger talks with Yahoo, which began in earnest Friday, collapsed Saturday afternoon when they could not agree on a price. Sources tell BoomTown that Yahoo, which had been demanding $40 a share for a friendly deal, recently lowered that price to $37. To Microsoft, however, that price was just another of Yahoo’s “unrealistic expectations.” Unwilling to meet it, it held firm at $33. End result: no deal.
“We will move forward and will continue to innovate and grow our business at Microsoft with the talented team we have in place and potentially through strategic transactions with other business partners,” Ballmer said in a letter to Yang. “I still believe even today that our offer remains the only alternative put forward that provides your stockholders full and fair value for their shares. By failing to reach an agreement with us, you and your stockholders have left significant value on the table. But clearly a deal is not to be.”
Ballmer also said that Microsoft has no plans to take Yahoo to the mat in a proxy fight. “Also, after giving this week’s conversations further thought, it is clear to me that it is not sensible for Microsoft to take our offer directly to your shareholders,” Ballmer stated. “This approach would necessarily involve a protracted proxy contest and eventually an exchange offer. Our discussions with you have led us to conclude that, in the interim, you would take steps that would make Yahoo undesirable as an acquisition for Microsoft. … Your apparent plan to pursue such an arrangement in the event of a proxy contest or exchange offer leads me to the firm decision not to pursue such a path. Instead, I hereby formally withdraw Microsoft’s proposal to acquire Yahoo!.”
So … any bets on how long it will take Yahoo shares to hit a new 52-week low on Monday?