Time to Recalibrate the Wayback Machine, Mr. Peabody …
Get this. Yahoo’s merger talks with Microsoft collapsed because the software giant wasn’t fully committed to them. This, presumably according to the same folks at Yahoo (YHOO) who would have us believe the company didn’t learn of Microsoft’s (MSFT) offer of $33 per share until Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s kiss-off letter to Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang.
According to a shareholder presentation the group filed with the SEC, Yahoo believes that “the record casts doubt on whether Microsoft was ever committed to a whole company acquisition.”
The record casts doubt on whether Microsoft was ever committed to a whole-company transaction? Really? Are we all talking about the same record here? Because in the public one that I’ve been looking over, Microsoft sounds pretty damn committed. A few examples:
Microsoft’s consistent belief has been that the combination of Microsoft and Yahoo clearly represents the best way to deliver maximum value to our respective shareholders, as well as create a more efficient and competitive company that would provide greater value and service to our customers.”
Ad Age: If Yahoo comes back and says this isn’t enough money, would you borrow money or partner to make it happen?
Mehdi: Without a question, we are very committed to this combination. … We have a whole set of plans and preparations ready to go to make it work. And we’d like to do that in a cooperative way with Yahoo. No question–our commitment is clear with this one.”
If we have not concluded an agreement within the next three weeks, we will be compelled to take our case directly to your shareholders, including the initiation of a proxy contest to elect an alternative slate of directors for the Yahoo board.”
I am disappointed that Yahoo has not moved toward accepting our offer. I first called you with our offer on Jan. 31 because I believed that a combination of our two companies would have created real value for our respective shareholders and would have provided consumers, publishers and advertisers with greater innovation and choice in the marketplace. Our decision to offer a 62% premium at that time reflected the strength of these convictions.”