Time Warner’s talks with Yahoo and separately with Microsoft have taken on renewed urgency as a pivotal Yahoo annual shareholders meeting approaches, a source tells us.
But are the discussions earnest or is AOL being used as a pawn in an increasingly ugly battle that will ultimately lead to a linkup of Microsoft and Yahoo? It’s hard to tell at this point as a steady stream news, punctuated by public accusations of “misleading” statements come from Microsoft, Yahoo and billionaire investor Carl Icahn, make handicapping the outcome difficult.
Icahn, who holds a 5 percent stake in Yahoo, has waged a proxy battle to remove Yahoo’s board and has aligned himself with Microsoft to seal a deal.
Some on Wall Street, including Bernstein Research’s Jeff Lindsay have sung the praises of AOL’s stock and cash deal for Yahoo, which in April was believed to be worth as much as $37.01 per share. But when asked, most industry and financial analysts hold firm a belief that Yahoo is still Microsoft’s to lose.
Ignoring signals that there will be no deals with AOL before Yahoo’s Aug. 1 shareholders meeting, Time Warner appears intent on pressing its case with the potential suitors perhaps eyeing an opportunity — especially after this past weekend’s fallout between Microsoft/Carl Icahn and Yahoo.