Craigslist a runaway bride?

May 1, 2008

newmark.jpgEBay‘s lawsuit against Craigslist alleges that founder Craig Newmark and CEO Jim Buckmaster tried to dilute eBay’s 28.4 percent stake in the company after a marriage proposal. According to court papers unsealed Wednesday, Craigslist wanted out of the relationship since eBay had launched a competing product, Kijiji, but Meg Whitman countered with a bid to buy the entire company, leading to the allegedly “clandestine” meetings between Newmark and CEO Jim Buckmaster. At stake is the world’s third most valuable Web startup, as ranked by Silicon Alley Insider, valued at approximately $5 billion.

Microsoft‘s board met on Wednesday to discuss its stand-off with Yahoo, but don’t get too excited: they failed to reach a decision on what to do next, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The board is still weighing whether to adopt a hostile approach and nominate a proxy slate of directors to replace Yahoo’s board, sweeten its cash-and-stock offer for Yahoo, or possibly walk away from the deal. A Microsoft-imposed “deadline” passed last Saturday.

Three-headed canine guardian of the gates of Hell, meet controversial private security contractor Blackwater. Cerberus Capital Management is in talks to invest $200 million for a stake in Blackwater USA, ABC News reported on Wednesday, citing sources. Or, not. The Wall Street Journal confirmed that Blackwater is seeking outside investment, but quotes a Cerberus spokesman as saying the private equity firm took a look but decided to pass. As the WSJ’s Deal Journal notes, the “secretive, billionaire, former paratrooper [Cerberus' Steve Feinberg] trains his largesse on a secretive, lucrative quasi-military operations company” story was just too good to be true.

** British software company Micro Focus International Plc said it was to buy U.S. peer NetManage Inc for an agreed $73.3 million, or $7.20 per share.

** Britain’s Hornby Plc has agreed to buy model car maker Corgi for 8.3 million pounds ($16.5 million) to add to its stable of iconic toy brands, which include Scalextric racing cars, Airfix model planes and its eponymous train sets.

** Turkey’s leading mobile phone operator Turkcell is in talks to buy 80 percent of Belarussian Telecommunication Network (Best), a Turkcell official told Reuters.

** Japanese staffing service firm United Technology Holdings Co Ltd said it had abandoned plans for a capital and business tie-up with bigger rival Goodwill Group Inc.

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