Somebody’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.