Yahoo Attracts Some Low, Unsurprising Bids

The Atlantic
Yahoo Attracts Some Low, Unsurprising Bids
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Yahoo Attracts Some Low, Unsurprising Bids

Yahoo's not worth as much as it had hoped, receiving bids for a minority stake between $16 and $18 per share, far short of its high $20 expectations. At a meeting last night Yahoo's board looked over offers, which had been submitted Monday, from groups looking to buy 19.9 percent of the company. According to AllThingsD's Kara Swisher, three investors made bids between $16.50 and $17.50. While that has share-holders upset, the numbers make sense, considering the rocky year Yahoo has had and the current state of the company.

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As expected, bids came in from a Silver Lake consortium, that included Microsoft and private equity firm TPG, who offered an unexpected $16.50 and $17.50 per share respectively, reports Swisher. Yahoo shareholders aren't too happy with these numbers, explain Bloomberg's Brian Womack, Jeffrey McCracken and Douglas MacMillan. “Investors who’ve been buying Yahoo recently were hoping for a significant premium and a takeout of the full company, and this falls short on both counts," Hamilton Faber, an analyst at Atlantic Equities LLP, told them. But it really shouldn't be all that surprising. Today, Yahoo's stock opened at $15.70 per share. And it's really only at that level because of the sale -- a Microsoft rumor, which turned out to be accurate, pushed the stock up 10 percent to around the current price at $15.92. And, as Swisher points out, the company's high this year never exceeded that $20 number, maxing out at $19 with a sad minimum of $11. 

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The company will meet today at a regularly scheduled board meeting to discuss the minority bids and hopefully settle the sale by the end of 2011, report The Wall Street Journal's Anupreeta Das, Gina Chon and Joann S. Lublin. Although Yahoo would prefer this minority stake arrangement because it avoids putting the sale up to a board vote, if it doesn't like these numbers it has other options in the works. Some, like Thomas H. Lee Partners and chinese e-commerce site the Alibaba Group have expressed interest in buying all of Yahoo. And it also looks like the Alibaba group is working on a deal for the 43 percent stake that Yahoo has in the company,  reports The Journal. CEO Jack Ma, who had a tumultuous relationship with former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, has already tried that once and expressed interest in trying again. Not exactly the ideal arrangements, perhaps these groups will have better financial proposals for Yahoo. 

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