Icahn to Yahoo: I Know You Are, But What Am I?
The already acrimonious discussions between activist investor Carl Icahn and Yahoo have finally devolved into a full-on pie fight. When Yahoo rejected Microsoft’s latest take-it-or-leave-it offer on Saturday, Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock characterized the proposal as “ludicrous.” Today, Icahn replied to Yahoo suggesting that “ludicrous” is perhaps a word best applied to the company’s own behavior. “I have yet to see a company distort, omit and twist events and facts in the manner that Yahoo has done in their press release,” Icahn said in a fiery letter to shareholders filed along with his definitive proxy statement. He went on to note that though Yahoo has complained that it was given just a day to mull over Microsoft’s latest proposal, it neglected to mention that it was offered more time if it were to briefly postpone its Aug. 1. shareholder meeting. Icahn took issue as well with Yahoo’s claim that the proposal would preclude the potential sale of the whole company. “They neglect to tell you that that train has left the station in that Microsoft is no longer willing to buy all of Yahoo with the current board overseeing the company,” he said. Finally, noting that Yahoo turned down in the June the same $33 per share proposal that it seeks today, he said Yahoo’s refusal to sell Microsoft its search business was serious misstep. “I believe that, just like the $33 per share offer that was refused by Yahoo! in early June, refusing the Microsoft offer for the Yahoo! search business is also another grave mistake that will be deeply regretted,” he wrote. “Our company is on a precipice and our Board seems ready to take the risk of seeing it topple—ARE YOU, THE REAL OWNERS OF YAHOO!, WILLING TO TAKE THE SAME RISK?”