Yesterday, when Yahoo CEO, Jerry Yang formally spelled out the reasons to shareholders for why his board rejected Microsoft’s $42 billion offer, he made it sound like everything was roses:
I wanted to reach out to you personally to let you know why your Board of Directors, after a careful review by Yahoo!’s management along with our financial and legal advisors, believes that Microsoft’s proposal substantially undervalues Yahoo! and is not in the best interests of our stockholders
Of course, communication with one’s shareholders always needs to walk a fine line between sobering and optimistic, but good luck to any shareholders who can’t see through the spin.
So, if not Microsoft, who? It’s obvious that a sale to someone is imminent.
The New York Times is suggesting that a deal is close to being struck with News Corp:
News Corp. and a private equity firm reportedly would buy significant stakes in Yahoo as part of a complex deal designed to push the Sunnyvale-based company’s market value toward $50 billion.
The Times, on the other hand, believe that AOL might be the next to step up:
It is also understood that one option being explored is to restart merger talks with AOL, the online business owned by Time Warner. Tie-ups with groups such as Google or Disney are also being considered.
For what it’s worth, the newly launched Industry Standard‘s community place 60% odds on Yahoo succumbing to an alternative bidder (registration required).
Yang is no doubt feeling the pressure, not helped much by a bunch of retiree shareholders trying to flex their shareholder muscle with a law suit. He knows that even if Microsoft ends up as the buyer, he’ll likely be ousted from his position.
Fun times in the hot seat.