/// Yahoo Shares Melt As Rumors Collide (Plus I Add Another Log to the Fire)

November 1, 2011  |  All Things Digital


Do sale rumors make a troubled asset more attractive? Yes, except when more rumors that those sale rumors might not be true appear. Welcome to just another day in the life of Yahoo, which saw its shares drop more than 5.5 percent today. Its stock declined almost a dollar to close at $15.64, after it was reported by various news orgs that Yahoo might be leaning toward no sale and a shareholder dividend, as well as taking control of its own sale of its lucrative Asian assets. That was counter to the news from a number of the very same outlets touting a variety of ever more elaborate and sometimes breathless sale scenarios last week, with various configurations of Microsoft , Google and private equity firms like Silver Lake and others. Silver Lake, in fact, appears to be the most aggressive in the possible bidding for all or parts of Yahoo and has been noodling such a deal most intently and for a long time now. It makes sense, given it was successful in a vaguely similar deal that ultimately saved the Internet telephony service Skype , which it eventually peddled at a high price to Microsoft. In fact, according to several sources Yahoo director and co-founder Jerry Yang — also a former CEO of the company, who appears to have seized the ball firmly in the strategy game — met with Silver Lake today for an unspecified little chit-chat. That said, said one source, “what is deeply uncertain is whether Silver Lake will do something at all.” This is par for the course in this everything-but-the-kitchen-sink drama. Because — although it makes for a boring post and the back-and-forth throat-clearing before an actual event might be entertaining — so far, not very much is actually happening as yet at Yahoo with regards to its variety of options . Of course, this could change in an hour or tomorrow or the next day and, most of all, it’s clear that Yahoo’s board has to move in some significant way before the end of the year. So, yes, the Silicon Valley Internet giant is doing all the sales-oriented stuff it should do with its pricey coterie of bankers (presumably being paid by the hour). Yes, it has recently hired a talent search firm to find a willing CEO, which is eyeing the landscape for Yahoo (even more adviser costs!). And, yes, it is still wrangling with its Asian partners — Alibaba Group and SoftBank — over how to do a tax-free transaction (you’d think from all the sweating over it that this deal was harder to do than solve the European debt crisis).

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Yahoo Shares Melt As Rumors Collide (Plus I Add Another Log to the Fire)


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