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Top investor urges MS to raise bid, Yahoo reconsider

updated 11:00 pm EST, Tue February 12, 2008

Investor urges MS, Yahoo

After an ongoing civilized dispute between the two companies [1|2|3], a major Yahoo investor pleaded with Microsoft to raise its bid of $42 billion in an effort to stay the deal. In addition, the second-largest investor scorned Yahoo's pride, saying that they have few options left for a satisfactory buyout. According to Reuters, Bill Miller, the lead stock-picker for Legg Mason, assessed in a quarterly letter to investors Yahoo's true worth to be $40 per share, $9 more than Microsoft's original bid.

"[Microsoft] will need to enhance its offer if it wants to complete a deal," wrote Miller. "It will be hard for [Yahoo] to come up with alternatives that deliver more value than [Microsoft] will ultimately be willing to pay," Miller wrote. "We think this deal is a strategic imperative for [Microsoft] and that [Yahoo] is in a tough spot if it wishes to remain independent."

Legg Mason Capital Management holds 80 million shares of Yahoo, which is just over 6-percent of the company. Legg Mason is second only to Capital Research and Management, which owns 11-percent.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Appleman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's simple: Yahoo! doesn't want. Leave Yahoo! alone, and start doing something yourself M$!

  1. tonton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Isn't it obvious?

    Legg wants to sell high. The more Microsoft bids, the better for Yahoo investors looking to sell, whether Yahoo ultimately accepts the bid or not.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Legg wants to salvage their position in Yahoo and MS' bid is their best bet.

    Not likely Yahoo stays independent and will probably get assimilated by the MS borg hive, but it will be interesting anyway.

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ironies seem abundant...

    ...gates has a charitable foundation yet one might ask how much financial & environmental stress & hardship has microsoft contributed to on a global level?

    I doubt I would miss MS if it disappeared off the face of the earth tomorrow...

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    while Microsoft's wares do indeed suck hard, I don't see how it has made the world a 'worse' place or damaged the environment.

    Financial stress? Well, I suppose if you're one of the many PC owners who've suffered from Windows' horrible security flaws and notorious instability, yeah you've been financially stressed. OTOH many people got rich off MSFT.

    Regardless of how much Microsoft sucks, the Gates have done a lot of good with their charitable foundation. I don't know of any similar foundation created by Jobs, for all of his wonderfulness in the world of computing (and computer animation for film, I loves me some Pixar!).

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is just another example of short-term shareholder greed. This investor obviously just wants to cash out and move on to ruining another company and does not care at all about Yahoo, it's customers, or its users.

    Anyone who's watched "The Dragon's Den" on CBC knows exactly how little investors value actual success and just want to extract as much money out of a business as possible before moving on to some other unsuspecting business.

    Since the dot-com boom, this seems typical. There needs to be some kind of shareholder reform so that the customers and long term success of a company is valued and prioritized higher than the short-term exploitation of a company's perceived value.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    shareholders are always greedy, greed is the lubricating oil of capitalism ;-)

    nevertheless, I understand your point, short-term profits (and profit-taking) at the expense of long-term growth (as well as employment for company's workers). Japan is an example of the kind of culture you're talking about.

    Frankly, I disagree with your analysis specifically with regard to Yahoo. While I would like very much for Yahoo to remain independent, I've long had doubts about their ability to survive and compete with Google. It is quite apparent they will never catch up, absent some nearly-impossible occurrence such as Google employees defecting en masse to Yahoo and taking their intellectual property with them.

    If I owned Yahoo shares, I'd be thrilled with the MS takeover bid. It would be about my only opportunity to realize any gain from owning their shares. Yahoo is simply another high-tech has-been.

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's like Netscape was once king. And now it's nobody. I wonder if Yahoo is traveling that path...

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    bad point

    "Regardless of how much Microsoft sucks, the Gates have done a lot of good with their charitable foundation. I don't know of any similar foundation created by Jobs, for all of his wonderfulness in the world of computing (and computer animation for film, I loves me some Pixar!)."

    So because you don't know of any (in fact none of us probably know what his charitable contributions are, he doesn't talk about them) does not mean he's not a philanthropist. In fact, most of the heavy givers are anonymous.

    Unlike Gates. For many years he was a joke among this crowd, no one could understand why someone with so much money wasn't giving any of it away (like in zilch). Then he married an angel and it was her who got him on this path. Oddly enough, the most vocal he was about this was during the anti-trust period, where he was making lots of noise about it. Hmmmm says I...

    All kudo's to her for leading the way. Him I'm not so sure about.

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