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Icahn confirms Yahoo stake, to push MS deal

updated 10:05 am EDT, Thu May 15, 2008

Icahn Yahoo Stake

Investor Carl Icahn on Thursday revived the once-dead possibility of a Microsoft takeover of Yahoo by announcing his plans to launch a proxy battle to overturn Yahoo's existing board of directors. The billionaire's plans are now known to be more aggressive than recent rumors have predicted and include the nomination of a slate that would completely replace the Yahoo overseers, essentially guaranteeing a Microsoft buyout of the search engine firm by installing a board friendly to the idea. Icahn himself is one of the nominees.

Icahn deems the bid necessary as he believes Yahoo needs to join Microsoft to form a company large enough to compete with Google, which otherwise effectively controls the web ad and search markets. Microsoft's raised bid of $33 per share is a "superior alternative" to what Yahoo plans to do on its own, and turning this down without even basic input from shareholders is evidence of stubbornness, the investor suggests.

"It is irresponsible to hide behind management's more than overly optimistic financial forecasts," he says, referring to Yahoo's belief that positive results and forecasts confirm the company's independence.

Icahn now owns 59 million shares in Yahoo, which gives him significant influence in voting for a Microsoft-friendly board.

Yahoo, meanwhile, is still attempting to safeguard itself against possible buyouts by expanding its Google deal. A permanent deal to use Google ads for some of its searches will theoretically increase Yahoo's revenues and also discourage Microsoft from making a bid, as it would force Microsoft to either run ads from Google or else pull the program.

by MacNN Staff



  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's sad that this guy is so pre-occupied with money that he can't even fathom that Yahoo acted in the best interests of the company and its employees.

    He can only envision a company that would want a short stock price spike so shareholders can sell it off and make even more money.

  1. Feynman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This guy

    is going to cause suicide.

    Can't Yahoo sue this guy?

    I mean if the company says no, the board says no, how can this guy legally do what he is doing?

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    oh well...

    what needs to be established is what kind of backroom deals Ballmer did with this guy. In other words, while it initially surprised me to see Ballmer back off Yahoo, now it all makes sense.

    Essaentially, Ballmer charmed Icahn, who us now doing his dirty work. Nice job. Let's see it backfire on both a*******.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I know, I know, it's so much fun to think of how MS loves to crush everyone to get their way, and so it must be some kind of plot by Ballmer and friends to push this through, but you really need to get a dose of reality, zink.

    1. Do you really think Ballmer, the one derided so much as monkey-boy, the sweat-meister, dancing-queen, etc, could actually "charm" anyone? Think about it.

    2. Icahn is a rich and powerful person who uses his financial muscle to get his own way (think of a Trump-like personality, certainly no Warren Buffet). That type of person does what they want to do. They aren't coaxed or cajoled or bribed into it by others.

    If it was any other company trying to buyout Yahoo, it wouldn't even be speculated that Icahn was basically a puppet of the former woo-er. But it's MS, so it must be!

    Do you really think Ballmer or MS has ANYTHING to offer Icahn that he doesn't already have?

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