Microsoft, Yahoo Reboot Talks

Microsoft and Yahoo are back at the negotiating table, according to a statement issued by Microsoft on Sunday. Microsoft began courting Yahoo Feb. 1 and withdrew its $47.5 billion takeover bid for Yahoo on May 3 after talks stalled over price issues.

"In light of developments since the withdrawal of the Microsoft proposal to acquire Yahoo Inc., Microsoft announced that it is continuing to explore and pursue its alternatives to improve and expand its online services and advertising business," the statement reads, most likely referring to Yahoo stockholder Carl Icahn's bid to replace the Yahoo board. Icahn, a billionaire investor activist, recently started a bid to oust Yahoo's 10-member board, which he accused of acting irrationally by opposing a merger. He proposed a slate of replacements to be voted on at Yahoo's annual shareholder meeting on July 3.

"Microsoft is considering and has raised with Yahoo an alternative that would involve a transaction with Yahoo but not an acquisition of all of Yahoo," the statement continues. "Microsoft is not proposing to make a new bid to acquire all of Yahoo at this time, but reserves the right to reconsider that alternative depending on future developments and discussions that may take place with Yahoo or discussions with shareholders of Yahoo or Microsoft or with other third parties. There of course can be no assurance that any transaction will result from these discussions."

Yahoo's response was vague, other than confirming that Microsoft was not interested in acquiring all of the company, at least for now.

Yahoo added that its board, which has been considering a number of deals to revive its slumping business, "will evaluate each of our alternatives, including any Microsoft proposal" while adding that it is "open to pursuing any transaction which is in the best interest of our stockholders."

Tags: m&a, online, portals
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