Microsoft want Yahoo! Search… All of it.
It is no secret that Microsoft wants this business, and those who have been in the industry will recall previous attempts, most significantly the shennanigans of 2008, which saw an unsolicited proposal to buy the whole Yahoo! business in February of that year, for $44.6 BN dollars in cash and shares. Following the rejection and counter-position of the offer from Yahoo! to $53 BN, (equivanlent to $33 a share and almost double the then shareprice) Steve Ballmer, in a letter to Jerry Yang, announced Microsoft were pulling out of the offer and would not be willing to meet the asking price.
Later that year an opportunist alliance between activist investor Carl Icann and Microsoft, saw yet another unsolicited bid; this time for the search business only, under the terms that Icahn would depose the board of directors for the remaining Yahoo! business and install a new board of directors under his leadership. Chairman Roy Bostock issued a statement resoundly rejecting the proposal (which was issued with a 24 hour response deadline) on grounds that a carve-up of the business would be damaging and undervalued the company’s assests. Again the “buy the whole company for $33 dollars a share or get lost” message was loud and clear. (more…)