Yahoo: Rest in Pieces
Much as Yahoo would like to believe otherwise, Microsoft’s not done with the company yet. Just as BoomTown suggested it might, Microsoft (MSFT) has circled back for another run at Yahoo (YHOO) and, if it’s successful, it will seize Yahoo’s search business and sell the rest of the company off for parts. The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft has approached Time Warner (TWX) and News Corp. (NWS) (owner of Dow Jones and this site) about joining it in a deal that would effectively lead to to the company’s breakup (see “Murdoch-Blocked?” and “MSFT/YHOO/AOL/ NWS/WTF?“). Seems Steve Ballmer is unwilling to abandon a deal that would more than triple Microsoft’s share of U.S. Web searches.
Yahoo, for its part, is said to be skeptical of a deal that would essentially dismember it, but people close to the company tell the Journal that Yahoo is still open to discussing any proposal from Microsoft. Perhaps even one that would see the software giant acquire Yahoo for $33 to $34 a share. After all, this is exactly the deal Yahoo proposed to Microsoft on May 17–two weeks after the company officially dropped its bid for Yahoo. That’s right, Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang and Co.–after insisting Microsoft’s offer “substantially undervalued” the company, tried to resuscitate a deal after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer scrapped the bid. From the Journal:
[On] May 17, two weeks after Microsoft officially dropped its pursuit of Yahoo … Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, director Ron Burkle and chairman Mr. Bostock met with Microsoft’s Mr. Ballmer. Messrs. Bostock and Burkle told Mr. Ballmer they were prepared to sell Yahoo for $33 to $34 a share, the price range Microsoft had offered before talks broke down, according to people familiar with the meeting. That would have valued the deal at about $47 billion, or $6 billion less than Yahoo’s previous asking price of $37 a share.”