Microsoft to launch proxy battle for Yahoo

Business Materials 19 February 2008 22:48 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- Microsoft is to launch a hostile takeover battle for Yahoo to pressure the company to accept its 31-dollar-a- share offer, the New York Times reported online Tuesday.

Yahoo last week rejected Microsoft's 44.6-billion-dollar offer as undervalued amid reports that the internet firm was in contact with News Corp and private equity firms for an alliance that would offer it an alternative to Microsoft's advances.

The cash and stock offer represented a 62 per cent premium over Yahoo's share price at the time, and since then a rise in Yahoo stock and a fall in Microsoft's share price has made the deal worth only 41 billion dollars.

According to the Times, Microsoft is reluctant to raise its bid, which chairman Bill Gates called a "very fair offer." Instead it plans to nominate a new board of directors by March 13, if Yahoo's current board does not enter talks, and to persuade Yahoo's shareholders to back its nominees.

The report said that Yahoo was vulnerable to such a tactic since all of its directors are up for nomination this year and directors are elected by a plurality of votes cast.