Dum…dum…dum…dum… dum…dum… AAAGH!
If Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang thought Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was scary, meet persnickety investor Carl Icahn.
According to CNBC, which was doubtlessly leaked the threat by the clever billionaire to test the waters, he has bought as much as 50 million shares in the troubled Internet company as part of a potential proxy fight.
Following the CNBC report, The Wall Street Journal reported that Icahn was leaning toward launching the proxy fight, using that 4% stake he has apparently amassed since the Yahoo-Microsoft tussle ended May 3.
Another activist investor, The Journal said, also thinking of getting involved was Firebrand Partners’ Scott Galloway, also known as the thorn in the New York Times’s side. (His SuperPoking inexplicably did nab him a board seat.)
But sharks do come when there is blood in the water, of course, as there has been since Microsoft (MSFT) abandoned its takeover quest for Yahoo (YHOO) after repeated rejection from Yang and its board.
It is not clear what Microsoft will do.
Icahn’s efforts seems clever, using similar tactics as he did in the BEA Systems-Oracle fight, trying to get just a few board seats to force Yahoo to sell to Microsoft.
But he better hurry–anyone wishing to wage such a proxy battle has until Thursday to do so to get on the slate at Yahoo’s July board meeting.
In honor of the Icahn entry, here’s an anticipatory video for Yang for the meeting, so he knows just what’s coming: