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Icahn Gains Support From All But Microsoft

  • Reuters, Wednesday, May 21, 2008 11:32 AM
As Carl Icahn receives support for his Yahoo proxy battle from such financial heavyweights as oil guru T. Boone Pickens, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, speaking in Israel Wednesday, reiterated that his company is no longer interested in buying all of Yahoo. Icahn last week notified the Yahoo board that he would launch a proxy fight if it failed to pursue a Microsoft merger ahead of the company's July 3 shareholder meeting, but Ballmer's comments will have rankled Icahn's plans.

"We are not bidding to buy Yahoo," Ballmer said. "Yet, we are trying to have discussions about deals with Yahoo that might create value, but not a whole acquisition of the company."

Microsoft walked away from a $47.5 billion bid to acquire the Web giant on May 3. Its new offer, various reports claim, is to buy Yahoo's search business and take a minority stake in slimmer version of the company, which would be expected to sell off its Asian assets, too. Similarly, Yahoo on Sunday confirmed that Microsoft was not interested in pursuing a full acquisition but remained open to other deals that would boost its value for shareholders.

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