John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

I Bet $31-Per-Share Sounds Pretty Good Right About Now, Eh?

Now that shares of Yahoo (YHOO) have dipped below $13 for the first time in more than five years.

And the company’s proposed advertising partnership with Google (GOOG) has been delayed due to the Justice Department’s ongoing related antitrust review.

And its lucrative stakes in two Asian Internet firms– and Gmarket–have lost 22 percent of their value, or $2.1 billion, since Yahoo assessed them in July.

And its quarterly profit and sales are expected to fall short of consensus estimates because of what CEO Jerry Yang likes to call headwinds.

Now that Yahoo is trading at $12.63 in an economy that’s falling Homer Simpson-style down the long rocky slope of economic collapse, some of the company’s institutional investors are hoping to convince it to sell itself to Microsoft (MSFT). Mithras Capital Partners, which holds about 1.9 million shares of Yahoo, has proposed selling the company to Microsoft for $22 a share, a 74 percent premium on Yahoo’s current stock price, but something of a discount over the $31-per-share Microsoft once offered and the $40-a-share for which Yahoo had hoped.

In a letter to the two companies, Mithras suggested Microsoft acquire the Internet underachiever, sell off its Asian assets and nonsearch businesses and extract $3 billion worth of cost savings and $2.8 billion of tax benefits. That would essentially mean that the Software giant would pay $10.3 billion for Yahoo’s search business, $2 billion less than it planned to spend back in July. “It is imperative for Microsoft to act now, while the Yahoo-Google deal is mired in regulatory concerns, and before Yahoo strikes a deal with AOL,” said Mark Nelson, a partner at Mithras. “It is imperative for the Yahoo board to embrace this proposal as the best outcome for long-suffering Yahoo shareholders.”

I suppose. But if Yahoo’s board felt $31-a-share “massively undervalued” the company, what will they think about $22?

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I’m a giant vat of creative juices.

— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo