The Wall Street Journal
by AMIR EFRATI And JOANN S. LUBLIN
Sept 16, 2011
Yahoo Inc. has been contacted by potential bidders for some or all of the Internet company, even as it focuses on stabilizing its executive ranks and bolstering its online-ad business, people familiar with the matter said.
Executives at private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners are among the potential bidders that have called Yahoo directors about a possible deal, but Yahoo hasn't met with the firm, one of the people familiar with the matter said. It wasn't clear precisely what Silver Lake proposed.
Media executive Peter Chernin has had recent discussions with Yahoo about a deal where a consortium of investors would take a stake in the company, according to people familiar with the matter. But the conversations are still at an early stage, according to these people, who said that Mr. Chernin is talking to private-equity firm Providence Equity Partners about being part of a deal.
Yahoo has signaled potential suitors that it isn't under pressure to make a deal quickly, a person familiar with the situation said.
Silver Lake and Yahoo spokeswomen declined to comment.
Yahoo directors discussed the suitors at a regularly scheduled board meeting on Wednesday, people familiar with the situation said. The firing last week of Yahoo Chief Executive Carol Bartz, has triggered questions about the Internet company's strategic direction and whether it will survive as an independent entity.
Directors have put a priority on evaluating selling all or part of the company, rather than on a CEO search, one of the people said. The board made no major decisions about Yahoo's future, however. The company's openness to a sale reflects recognition that Yahoo faces numerous long-term growth challenges amid the growing popularity of social networks like Facebook Inc. and of mobile devices and applications for them.
While Yahoo's revenue hasn't increased in recent years, the company continues to turn a profit.The company's executives are pursuing strategic initiatives, such as bidding for video site Hulu LLC and reaching a new advertising partnership with Microsoft Corp. and AOL Inc., an effort by the three companies to better compete with Google Inc., people familiar with the matter have said.
Directors also discussed the possibility of making other strategic acquisitions or changing the type of investors holding Yahoo's stock, a person said. The board also discussed the company's internal operations under interim Chief Executive Tim Morse, people familiar with the matter said.
Yahoo's Asian holdings—a 40% stake in China-based Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and a 35% stake in Yahoo Japan—are a focal point of the board's discussions, people familiar with the matter said. Those holdings represent one-third to one-half of Yahoo's roughly $18 billion in market value, according to analysts from B. Riley & Co. and Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.
Some private-equity firms that are considering whether to pursue a deal for Yahoo have indicated privately they wouldn't make a play unless its Asian assets were sold, making Yahoo smaller and easier to purchase.
But Yahoo's board believes some potential suitors would be interested in acquiring the entire company, a person familiar with the matter said.
Directors have ruled out a spinoff of Yahoo's Asian assets into a separate holding company because the Securities and Exchange Commission would likely oppose such a move since Alibaba's finances are largely undisclosed, a person familiar with the matter said.
Yahoo has spent months looking at ways to increase the value of its Asian assets or a sale of its stakes, people familiar with the situation have said. Such discussions have been complicated by the tax consequences of a sale and disagreements with Alibaba over the value of the Yahoo's stake in the Chinese e-commerce company, among other things, the people said.
Activist investor Daniel Loeb, whose Third Point LLC hedge fund last week disclosed holding more than a 5% stake in Yahoo, continued to blast Yahoo's management this week, calling for Yahoo's directors to step down. The company's board isn't worried about such agitation and won't try to block Mr. Loeb from obtaining more shares, people familiar with the matter said.
Learn more about Search Engine Optimization, the most effective form of online advertising.
Search Engine Marketing is the fastest growing advertising medium in the world, projected to become 10x more powerful and influential than traditional media outlets such as: network television, cable television, local television, network radio, local radio, satellite radio, national newspapers, local newspapers, magazines, billboards, direct mail, telemarketing and more.
Discover the most powerful and effective form of advertising, Search Engine Optimization.
An aside for consideration are the segments of Search Engine Optimization. Clarification is required in terms of paid search marketing, sponsored search advertising, pay per click, email marketing (spam), and the foundation of strategic internet marketing: Organic Search Engine Optimization - Organic SEO in some circles also referred to as Natural Search Engine Optimization - Natural SEO.
Key Organic Search Engine Optimization Facts:
- Keyword search is the 2nd most popular online activity, rapidly approaching the popularity of email retrieval.
- 90% of all new website visitors are delivered by a major search engine and/or directory.
- 98% of all keyword search activity results are powered by the big 4 search engines: Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL.
- Keyword search results on Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL are all determined by a search engine spider and/or robot crawler.
- Recent internet marketing studies confirm that keyword searchers prefer the organic results at a 6 to 1 ratio vs. pay-per-click sponsored search advertising listings.
Is your corporate website being found early and often on the keywords and keyword phrases that best describe your products, services and industry?
Harness the power that our proven organic search engine optimization technologies can provide...
Contact the Peak Positions Organic SEO consulting specialists today.
Learn more about our client roster, one of the strongest in the SEO industry, and more importantly discover why our client-focused Organic Search Engine Optimization company maintains the highest client retention rate in the SEO industry.
"Our year over year order anniversary flowers revenues are climbing rapidly in a timid economy. If you are looking for an excellent SEO Company, we suggest Peak Positions" ...
SEO Case Study