Sales
0161 215 3700
0800 458 4545
Support
0800 230 0032
0161 215 3711

Microsoft interested in restarting takeover talks with Yahoo

Microsoft interested in restarting takeover talks with Yahoo

Microsoft is interested in restarting takeover talks with Yahoo!, but only if the internet company replaces its board of directors at its annual meeting on August 1. The software giant released a statement welcoming plans made by Yahoo!'s activist shareholder Carl Icahn to get new Yahoo! board members elected, and confirmed that it would only reopen talks with the internet firm if this occurs. Icahn has been a persistent critic of Yahoo! chief executive Jerry Yang who has been under fire for his lacklustre leadership, for failing to agree a deal with Microsoft and signing a deal with arch rival Google. Microsoft also restated its interest in acquiring Yahoo!'s dwindling search business or the whole company. It said: "Despite working since January 31 of this year, as well as in the early part of last year, we have never been able to reach an agreement in a timely way on acceptable terms with the current management and Board of Directors at Yahoo!. "We have concluded that we cannot reach an agreement with them. We confirm, however, that after the shareholder election Microsoft would be interested in discussing with a new board a major transaction with Yahoo!, such as either a transaction to purchase the 'search' function with large financial guarantees or, in the alternative, purchasing the whole company. "While of course there can be no assurance of a future transaction, we will be prepared to enter into discussions immediately after Yahoo!'s shareholder meeting if a new board is elected." Microsoft added that it would not make any further comment on merger talks until Yahoo! holds its shareholder meeting. The announcement comes after Icahn sent an open letter to Yahoo! shareholders on Monday morning, which indicated that Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, would not negotiate any deal with Yahoo!'s current board. In the letter, Icahn, who has built up a 5% share in Yahoo!, stressed that a deal with Microsoft would be guaranteeing "a great deal of capital" upon closing, but that this deal "could be lost" with the current Yahoo! board. Icahn has been calling for Yahoo! to reopen discussions with Microsoft ever since talks regarding the software company's $45bn (£23bn) offer broke down earlier this year. The billionaire investor will be attempting to get his own board slate elected at the August 1 meeting. However, Yahoo! has reportedly been in discussions over the weekend with its lead advisor Goldman Sachs to secure an alternative offer to present to shareholders at the annual meeting. Yahoo! is seeking to partner-up with Time Warner and possibly merge with the media company's AOL unit, in a deal estimated to be worth as much as $10bn, according to TimesOnline. It is the second time Yahoo! has held talks with Time Warner, after the initial talks that followed Microsoft's first approach. The internet company is believed to have reopened talks with Time Warner after it emerged last week that Microsoft was also in talks with a number of companies, including Time Warner, over a transaction to join forces and buy and dismantle Yahoo!. Microsoft's statement regarding Carl Icahn letter: "In the past week we have had the opportunity to discuss with Carl Icahn the prospects for a possible agreement between Microsoft and Yahoo!. Despite working since January 31 of this year, as well as in the early part of last year, we have never been able to reach an agreement in a timely way on acceptable terms with the current management and Board of Directors at Yahoo!. We have concluded that we cannot reach an agreement with them. We confirm, however, that after the shareholder election Microsoft would be interested in discussing with a new board a major transaction with Yahoo!, such as either a transaction to purchase the 'search' function with large financial guarantees or, in the alternative, purchasing the whole company. As Mr Icahn notes in his statement today, it would be premature to discuss at this time important details such as the price or other terms of a possible transaction. We respect the right of Yahoo!'s shareholders to determine the destiny of their company, and we do not intend to engage in ongoing commentary on these issues in advance of Yahoo!'s shareholder meeting. As we explained on June 12 when Yahoo! announced an agreement with Google, we believe that our proposed search acquisition and partnership would have delivered superior value to Yahoo!'s shareholders and the marketplace as a whole. We have not changed our position, even as we continue to move forward with our own online search and advertising offerings. We therefore welcome interest by Mr. Icahn in pursuing this and other discussions. While of course there can be no assurance of a future transaction, we will be prepared to enter into discussions immediately after Yahoo!'s shareholder meeting if a new board is elected."

print this article

Return to marketing news headlines
View Marketing News Archive

Share with: