Yahoo buys time to fight off Microsoft bid
Yahoo on Wednesday bought some much needed time to fight off a takeover bid from Microsoft, extending a deadline for nominating directors and thereby delaying Microsoft's plans to elect directors who would approve the buyout. ( dpa )
Prior to the extension of the deadline, nominations were due March 14. Now Yahoo will accept them until 10 days following the announcement of the date of its annual meeting, and pointedly did not set a date for that meeting.
Yahoo took the step to remove the distraction of a so-called proxy contest for control of its board and allow it to weigh other options, CEO Jerry Yang said in an email to employees.
"In light of the current circumstances, this change removes an imminent deadline. Microsoft, of course, could still choose to name directors, but our objective here is to enable our board to continue to explore all of its strategic alternatives for maximizing value for stockholders," Yang said.
Yahoo has reportedly been in talks with Time Warner about creating some kind of combination with the media company's AOL unit.
It has also held talks with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. about a deal that would see a cash injection into Yahoo and an equity swap between Yahoo and News Corp's MySpace. Yahoo has also held talks with Google, which has pledged its help in fighting off the Microsoft bid.
Microsoft unveiled its bid for Yahoo last month after Yahoo's stock had been falling steadily as it struggled to compete with Google for online advertising revenue. Microsoft's 44.6 billion- dollar cash and stock offer represented a 62 per cent premium over Yahoo's share price at the time.
Since then, a rise in Yahoo stock and a fall in Microsoft's share price has reduced the value of the deal to only 41 billion dollars.