Speculation is mounting about a possible takeover offer for troubled internet company Yahoo.
The Reuters news agency reported that Microsoft was among the front runners, attempting a second bite of the cherry after Yahoo rejected its offer in 2008.
Back then Microsoft lifted its initial offer for Yahoo of $US44.6 billion to $US47.5 billion, representing a 60 percent premium.
Yahoo’s shares have increased by around 10 percent on the ongoing acquisition speculation, and now sit at $15.92 valuing the company at $US20.1 billion.
A marriage between Yahoo and Microsoft would make a lot of sense for the two companies, both of which have suffered as a result of Google’s success in the market. Microsoft is understood to be seeking a partner to join it in any bid for Yahoo.
Other companies believed to be in the hunt are Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, a Russian investment firm and three US investment firms; Silver Lake Partners, Providence Partners and Andreessen Horowitz.
Speaking to an audience of students at California’s Stanford University last week, Alibaba Group CEO Jack Ma confirmed said he was "very interested” in buying Yahoo, according to a report in the New York Times.
Alibaba and Yahoo have history together. In 2005 Yahoo paid $US1 billion for a 40 percent stake in the company. But Ma’s move to transfer ownership the Alipay payments division of Alibaba into his own private company led to dispute with the US company which is yet to be properly resolved.
Yahoo is understood to have engaged Goldman Sachs and Allen & Company to help it gather financial information and prepare the due diligence needed prior to a sale.
Both Microsoft and Yahoo declined to comment further about the potential acquisition bid.
This article originally appeared at crn.com
Issue: 315 | May 2013
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