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Yahoo hiring Goldman to fend off possible AOL bid?

updated 05:05 pm EDT, Thu October 14, 2010

Yahoo looks to Goldman against takeover bids?

Yahoo will work with Goldman Sachs to help it defend a takeover bid, unnamed sources said in a Bloomberg Thursday report. While no bids have yet been made, AOL has been rumored to be putting together an offer. Private equity firms, bankers and some Yahoo investors have also been trying to takeover Yahoo with the help of AOL of News Corp, the sources said.

Such a takeover would help the company focus on a media company and be better able to compete with giant Google.

Yahoo is also concerned interest is driven by its 39 percent of stake in Alibaba Group Holding, worth about $10 billion. Alibaba is China's biggest e-commerce company, and recently offered to buy back its stake but the talks fell apart in June. Alibaba, like Yahoo, is dropping Yahoo's native engine in favor of Microsoft's Bing search. Alibaba sold its stake in 2005 for $1 billion and ownership of Yahoo's Chinese unit. The agreement allowed Alibaba to buy back its stake Yahoo were to be taken over.

If AOL seeks to buy out Yahoo, it would need private-equity funding unless it negotiated a reverse merger that involves managerial control, an analyst indicated. Silver Lake has been unofficially linked to the deal and may be working with AOL.

by MacNN Staff



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