Yahoo Responds to Icahn and Microsoft

July 7th, 2008 at 12:00 am

jerry yang

It’s been a noisy day in the MicroSHOO! saga .  We’ve heard the opening remarks from Icahn and the second motion from Microsoft .  However, we have not yet heard Yahoo’s (by that I mean the current board of directors) side.  Well wait no further, ‘coz here it is.

After Yahoo turned down Microsoft’s offer, their stock has been in a nose dive since.  The only reason keeping them afloat and breaking their fall are rumors of another takeover attempt by Microsoft.  Indeed, Yahoo’s stance on the Microsoft acquisition proposal has changed drastically after Icahn launched his proxy war against the current Yang-Bostock led board of directors.   A month after Yahoo broke Microsoft’s heart, they’re again trying to reason with them, though not as desperately as Icahn would hope.

Today, after Icahn and Microsoft publicly announced their stands on the Microsoft-Yahoo acquisition, Yahoo is listening and would be interested in to discuss a deal regardless if Microsoft only wants to deal with a new slate of directors.  In a nutshell, Yahoo’s board of directors says to Microsoft, "Why wait? Talk to us now."

Yahoo’s statement dated today:

Yahoo!’s Board of Directors continues to stand ready to enter into negotiations with Microsoft Corporation for an acquisition of Yahoo!. Indeed, as recently as June, Yahoo!’s independent directors and management approached Steve Ballmer about just such a transaction, only to be told that Microsoft was no longer interested even in the price range which they had previously proposed. Now Mr. Ballmer and Mr. Icahn have teamed up in an apparent effort to force Yahoo! into selling to Microsoft its Search business at a price to be determined in a future “negotiation” between Mr. Icahn’s directors and Microsoft’s management. We feel very strongly that this would not lead to an outcome that would be in the best interests of Yahoo!’s stockholders. If Microsoft and Mr. Ballmer really want to purchase Yahoo!, we again invite them to make a proposal immediately. And if Mr. Icahn has an actual plan for Yahoo! beyond hoping that Microsoft might actually consummate a deal which they have repeatedly walked away from, we would be very interested in hearing it.