“People who know me know I don’t have an ego about remaining independent versus not remaining independent,” Yahoo chief Jerry Yang told the Web 2.0 Summit. That’s a good thing because rejection is starting to become a refrain for the Internet company.
Yang must be pumped by Yahoo’s share price, which surged after a rumor posted on a blog said the company was in advanced talks to sell itself to Microsoft for $17 to $19 a share. But the blog also reported that Yang would step down as CEO. Yahoo officials later said the report was untrue, but before the open this morning Yahoo shares were still climbing.
Google ditched a search advertising partnership with Yahoo this week. News Corp said on its earnings call yesterday that talked-about talks with Yahoo were not happening. Microsoft walked away from a deal to buy the company in May. Yang declined to comment on Yahoo’s discussions with Time Warner about buying AOL. Failure of that deal could at least give him a chance to jilt somebody, for a change.
Yang says he is still open to selling to Microsoft at the right price. The question is whether the price will be as resilient as his ego.
Deals of the day:
* Malaysia’s CIMB Bank will make an offer to buy in the market the 57.87 percent of Thai lender BankThai that it does not already own and the price is expected to be 2.10 baht per share, BankThai said.
* Vodafone, the world’s biggest mobile phone group by revenue, has succeeded in its bid to take control of South Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator, Vodacom Group.
* Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications said it planned to make four to five acquisitions worth up to $4 billion before 2010 after a global credit crisis depressed asset prices for telecom firms.
* North American brewer Molson Coors Brewing has emerged as holder of a 5 percent stake in Australian brewer Foster’s Group, giving it a seat at the bar amid persistent takeover talk.
* Swiss bank UBS bought a minority stake in Governance Metrics International, a research advisory company specializing in corporate governance.
* Russian oil major LUKOIL and Italian refiner ERG will finalize a 1.35 billion euro ($1.74 billion) deal allowing LUKOIL to break into the western European refining business, industry sources told Reuters.
* British property developer and investment company Westcity said it was pulling out of the Kenny Heights mixed residential and retail development project in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
* Property investment and development company Town Centre Securities said it sold its 50 percent interest in a joint venture to its partner, Q-Park Ltd, for 8.7 million pounds ($13.80 million) in cash.
* Dublin-based Changingworlds, a mobile phone services firm that counts Vodafone and Sprint among its customers, said it had been bought by New York-listed Amdocs for $60 million.
* Susanne Klatten, Germany’s richest woman, offered to buy the rest of Altana in a deal worth 910 million euros ($1.17 billion) as the specialty chemicals maker dampened its 2008 outlook.