updated 03:00 pm EST, Tue November 29, 2011
Thomas Lee Partners to buy all of Yahoo: sources
The latest bidder in the potential Yahoo takeover is Thomas H. Lee Partners, Reuters learned. THL is said to be looking at a leveraged buyout of Yahoo's US business, which could be worth between $5 and $6 billion. THL has run other media companies such as Nielsen Co, Clear Channel, and Univision.
Other private equity firms bidding for Yahoo including Silver Lake (financed by Microsoft), KKR and TPG are trying to break up Yahoo, offering a stake of up to 20 percent in the company. Blackstone Group, Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman are in talks with China's Alibaba Group and Japan's Softbank Corp for a similar deal, sources revealed.
Yahoo is estimated to be worth about $19 billion. It's now without a permanent CEO and has been on a downfall lately thanks to competition from the likes of Google and Facebook.
THL, along with some other parties, are said to sign confidentiality agreements this week to give them access to Yahoo's financial information.
The minority investment could come by way of a private investment in public equity (PIPE) transaction that's usually a discounted stock price compared to a public market valuation. A sale of less than 20 percent of the company doesn't require Yahoo to put up the sale for a shareholder vote.