September 16, 2011
Silver Lake Considering Bid For Yahoo
Investors and buyout firms, including private-equity investor Silver Lake, are once again considering bidding on Yahoo! Inc., the Web company who dismissed Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz over the telephone last week, according to various media reports Friday.
According to Brian Womack and Cristina Alesci of Bloomberg, if a deal is reached, Silver Lake would sell off the company's Asian holdings, and then either work to turn around the core parts of the business or shutter them as well. The reporters, citing an anonymous source, said that Silver Lake representatives were already approaching other companies, citing their interest in Yahoo's primary business.
Evelyn M. Rusli and Verne G. Kopytoff of the New York Times' Dealbook blog, added that Silver Lake was working alongside venture firm Andreessen Horowitz, who also has been considering a possible bid over the past six months. Microsoft and the Alibaba Group are also reportedly interested.
Reuters, however, citing Wall Street Journal reports, stated that Yahoo representatives had not yet met with Silver Lake, and that it "was not clear" what the equity firm might have proposed. Bloomberg attempted to contact Yahoo spokeswoman Kim Rubey and Silver Lake representative Gordon Goldstein for comment, but did not receive responses.
"The renewed interest in Yahoo comes as the company faces a critical juncture," Rusli and Kopytoff wrote in a Thursday article. "The sprawling Internet media company, which rose to prominence in the late 1990s for its popular portal, has fallen behind in recent years."
"Yahoo's board discussed Silver Lake's approach during its meeting on Wednesday and hired Allen & Company as its investment bank for a continuing review of Yahoo's business," they added. "The board also talked about Yahoo's Asian assets, which include a 40 percent stake in the Alibaba Group, a Chinese e-commerce company, and a stake of about 35 percent in Yahoo Japan."
Furthermore, the Times reports that Yahoo is working with UBS, which currently advises the company on their state in Yahoo Japan, which would "complicate" any potential buyout.
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