Microsoft Bids $44.6 Billion for Yahoo!
This is shocking! Never know that M$ is interested in Yahoo. Haha, in the news, it mentioned that both are struggling to beat competition from Google. I do prefer Google over Yahoo, I use Gmail, no Yahoo Mail also. Will this buying-over be a successful one? We shall see.
Taken from CNET:
Microsoft bids $44.6 billion for Yahoo
By Ina Fried
Story last modified Fri Feb 01 05:42:47 PST 2008
Microsoft went public Friday with a $44.6 billion cash-and-stock bid to acquire Yahoo.
In its response, Yahoo called the Microsoft bid “unsolicited” but did not reject it.
Microsoft’s offer, which was contained in a letter to Yahoo’s board, amounts to $31 a share and represents a 62 percent premium over Yahoo’s closing price on Thursday. Microsoft said it will offer shareholders the option of cash or stock.
“We have great respect for Yahoo, and together, we can offer an increasingly exciting set of solutions for consumers, publishers, and advertisers while becoming better positioned to compete in the online-services market,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement.
Yahoo said in a responding statement that its board “will evaluate this proposal carefully and promptly, in the context of Yahoo’s strategic plans, and pursue the best course of action to maximize long-term value for shareholders.”
The deal comes as Microsoft and Yahoo have both struggled to compete against Google.
Microsoft didn’t mention Google by name in its announcement, but it did indicate that its acquisition bid was aimed squarely at its rival.
“Today, the market is increasingly dominated by one player, who is consolidating its dominance through acquisition,” Microsoft said. “Together, Microsoft and Yahoo can offer a credible alternative for consumers, advertisers, and publishers.”
Microsoft said it believed it can get all of the needed regulatory approvals and said the deal, if ultimately approved by Yahoo shareholders, could be completed in the second half of the year.
Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Jupiter Research, said it’s “clear that there is increased pressure on Microsoft from Google and they recognize that. Way back when, Yahoo wasn’t that interested in a Microsoft deal. What a difference two years make. Microsoft has a pile of money, and Yahoo has experienced problems of its own. Ballmer, in the past, has historically not loved these types of deals. It is indicative of how different the world is now.”
Gartenberg added that the deal “absolutely” makes sense. “But there is a lot to be done in the details. Getting this deal done might be the easiest part. The real challenge is what happens when they finish the deal. This is not a panacea–the details will be what matters,” he said.
Rumors that Microsoft was interested in Yahoo have bubbled up from time to time, including the past two springs, on the eve of Microsoft advertising conferences.
The move would be by far the largest acquisition ever for Microsoft. Its largest prior deal, also in the online-advertising space, was last year’s $6 billion deal to acquire Aquantive.
In a letter sent to Yahoo’s board late Thursday, Microsoft confirmed that it has had talks with Yahoo since 2006, but that its suggestions of an acquisition had been rebuffed.
“In late 2006 and early 2007, we jointly explored a broad range of ways in which our two companies might work together,” Microsoft said. “These discussions were based on a vision that the online businesses of Microsoft and Yahoo should be aligned in some way to create a more effective competitor in the online marketplace. We discussed a number of alternatives ranging from commercial partnerships to a merger proposal, which you rejected.”
The letter goes on to say that an offer in February 2007 was also rejected. Although at one time, Microsoft was open to other kinds of partnerships with Yahoo, the company says now it just wants to own Yahoo outright.
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“While a commercial partnership may have made sense at one time, Microsoft believes that the only alternative now is the combination of Microsoft and Yahoo that we are proposing,” Microsoft said in the letter.
The public offer follows the Yahoo’s disappointing earnings report on Tuesday, which sent the company’s shares down. Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang also said Tuesday that the company was facing “headwinds” and announced 1,000 layoffs.
Terry Semel, Yahoo’s former CEO, who left that position last summer but remained as non-executive chairman of the board, left the company altogether on Thursday.
Yahoo shares were up 54 percent to $29.52 in premarket trading Friday.
Microsoft’s financial advisers are Morgan Stanley and Blackstone.
Microsoft has scheduled a conference call for later Friday morning.
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