In an attempt to lock into some kind of deal before their board re-election August 1st, Yahoo! is trying to resume talks with Time Warner about a possible merger with their internet arm AOL in a deal worth up to $10 billion.
These talks have come to the forefront after it came to light that Microsoft is also talking to companies including Time Warner in an effort to launch a break up bid of Yahoo!. Microsoft is attempting such a breakup in order to place themselves on a more level playing field with their big search competitor Google, and snag a larger slice of the advertising market pie estimated to be worth about $40 million. (This number is set to double in the next two years). Microsoft is not a happy camper after being promptly rebuffed in their revised offer to Yahoo!, and it is also rumored that they approached Mr Icahn, the billionaire activist investor who already nominated himself and other execs to replace the Yahoo! board, last week.
Mr. Icahn is not pleased that the Yahoo! shareholders weren’t given the chance to vote on the initial cash/shares offer from Microsoft in May, and he wants investors to boot the board when they meet on the 1st. However, Jerry Yang, the co-founder and chief executive of Yahoo! is wanting to be able to present the shareholders with an alternate offer at the annual meeting. A hostile takeover by Microsoft is NOT the direction he wants to see Yahoo! have to take. Should be interesting to see what goes down in that boardroom August 1st.