Nokiahoo or Yahookia? Nah…

May 19, 2008

desert.jpg

With all the interest in Yahoo Inc these days, we took the opportunity to ask Nokia CFO Rick Simonson at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit if the world’s largest mobile phone maker would be interested in buying Yahoo. He laughed and joked that of all the questions we could have asked him, this was one he didn’t see coming. Then he goes on to say:

Yahoo, Microsoft may want to check with Icahn

May 19, 2008

yahoo.jpgSo Microsoft is now proposing a new deal: This one could be some sort of partnership or joint venture for search-related advertising to take on Google Inc, the New York Times reports.

Look out, Yahoo!

May 16, 2008

spider.jpgRemember those scary movie close-ups of a fly caught in a spider’s web, or some tourist who steps into quicksand, or another variation of the same? How with each twist and turn to get free, the captive enmeshes themselves deeper into the trap? 

Mark Cuban’s Yahoo rallying cry: “Aqualung!”

May 15, 2008

jethro-tull.jpgSome might detect the faintest note of irony in the fact that Carl Icahn has nominated Mark Cuban to be one of Yahoo’s directors as part of his proxy fight against the company. It was Cuban, after all, who sold the now defunct Broadcast.com to Yahoo for $5 billion+ at the peak of the dot com boom.

Icahn to Yahoo: We’ve lost faith

May 15, 2008

carl-icahn.jpgBillionaire investor Carl Icahn fired a salvo at Yahoo on Thursday morning, threatening a proxy fight unless Yahoo gets Microsoft back to the negotiating table.******In a letter to Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock he said Yahoo’s board had acted “irrationally” in turning away an offer that amounted to a 72 percent premium and warned Yahoo not to announce any “strategic alternatives” (such as a deal with AOL or Google) without a shareholder vote.***

I am perplexed by the board’s actions. It is irresponsible to hide behind management’s more than overly optimistic financial forecasts. It is unconscionable that you have not allowed your shareholders to choose to accept an offer that represented a 72% premium over Yahoo’s closing price of $19.18 on the day before the initial Microsoft offer. I and many of your shareholders strongly believe that a combination between Yahoo and Microsoft would form a dynamic company and more importantly would be a force strong enough to compete with Google on the Internet.

Icahn comes calling

May 14, 2008

icahn.jpgSomebody’s knocking on Yahoo’s door this week and it isn’t Steve Ballmer, yet. We wondered whether someone was building a position that helped keep Yahoo shares aloft since Microsoft pulled back from deal talks about a week and a half ago. 
    
It turns out that activist shareholder par excellence Carl Icahn has accumulated about 50 million shares in that time and will likely decide today whether to launch a proxy contest, before Yahoo’s deadline for board nominations expires on Thursday.
    
What may sway his decision is a sign from Microsoft that it is willing to come back to the table after Yahoo rebuffed a sweetened $47.5 billion offer. 
    
According to the Wall Street Journal, some other shareholder activists may be spoiling for a fight, including Firebrand Partners’ Scott Galloway, whose powers of persuasion won him a board seat at the New York Times earlier this year.
    
While all of this may not be good news for Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, the action could well buoy shares in the meantime, at least until he reaches his own conclusions on how to proceed.
    
(Reuters) (WSJ)     

Microsoft-Yahoo: Google ‘hearts’ Yahoo’s search ads

May 9, 2008

schmidt.jpgAs the Microsoft-Yahoo will-they-won’t-they? saga drags on, Google’s role in any future talks becomes more apparent.

Microsoft’s Yahoo road show: the sequel

May 8, 2008

MediaFile wrote last week about Steve Ballmer’s world tour to promote Microsoft’s unsolicited takeover bid for Yahoo. Now that the Microsoft has walked away and the odds for Microhoo aren’t looking so hot, Microsoft execs have fanned out across the globe to explain the company’s decision. To Skhirat, Morocco, San Donato Milanese, Italy and Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, we can now add Seoul, London and Jakarta.

Microsoft: A Thousand Times No

May 8, 2008

And it was thus decreed that the messengers of Steve Ballmer were sent far across the land to say No to an alliance with the kingdom of Yahoo:
    
“Yahoo could always come back again and say please buy us for $33 (a share) and I’m sure we might reconsider it, but we’re not assuming that’s going to happen,” Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Office Craig Mundie to Reuters in Jakarta, May 8. 

Is Yahoo’s Yang toast?

May 6, 2008

steve-case-frowns.jpgLegendary media money manager Gordon Crawford blasted Yahoo Chief Jerry Yang for blowing the Microsoft deal in high profile interviews with the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.