Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer may be exploring a deal to take the business private, according to the latest buzz floating through Silicon Valley.
Mayer’s friend, investment banker Frank Quattrone, has contacted private-equity firms on her behalf to explore a potential deal for Yahoo’s core business, according to several media outlets.
The New York Post reports that Mayer herself has headed to New York this week to make her case, citing TPG, KKR and Bain Capital as among the PE firms that have interest in Yahoo.
"Operationally, the merger of two firms often allows for immediate profit because the acquirer has duplicative roles and other synergies," says Kevin Lee, executive chairman of Didit. "For private equity, they come in like 'Pretty Woman' and slice, dice and purge."
Taking the company private would enable Mayer and team to focus on the core offerings, such as search, mail, social, video, mobile and several verticals in select geographic locations.
A list of interested bidders have since surfaced, led by Verizon to integrate with AOL, and followed by AT&T, but a collation of fund companies could turn this strategy into reality, allowing Mayer to finish what she started, turn around the ailing company. Millennium Partners and Mason Capital are among the New York-based hedge funds holding stakes in the move.
Last week, Yahoo said it had hired Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and PJT Partners to explore a possible sale.
The New York Post also reports that Los Angeles-based Canyon Capital Advisors sent a letter saying the hedge fund "remains concerned that the process is not moving as quickly as it should, and that management does not fully support the board’s direction in this regard."
Meanwhile, at the Yahoo Mobile Developer Conference in San Francisco earlier this month the company unveiled several updates to its Mobile Developer Suite such as a redesign of the Flurry analytics dashboard, a new Flurry app, support for TVos analytics, and a direct ad serving feature integrated directly into the dashboard.