Sunday, February 10, 2008

Yahoo to Reject Microsoft Buyout Offer

Yahoo! Inc., the Internet company that has failed to crack Google Inc.'s dominance of Web search, plans to reject a $44.6 billion takeover bid from Microsoft Corp., a person familiar with the situation said.

The board spent a week reviewing the $31-per-share unsolicited offer before deciding it was too low, and directors are likely to reject it tomorrow, said the person, who declined to be identified because the discussions aren't public. Yahoo wants at least $40, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

The decision steps up pressure on co-founder Jerry Yang to present investors with a strategy to revive a stock that lost half its value in the two years before the offer. He may look to outsource its search efforts to Google or find another buyer, though analysts said it is unlikely that any other options will emerge and Microsoft may make a higher offer to win.

``A lot of this is gamesmanship on the part of Yahoo,'' said Scott Kessler, an equity analyst at Standard & Poor's in New York who recommends holding Yahoo and buying Microsoft. ``Microsoft is well aware that Yahoo doesn't have any other options. What this is about is how much Microsoft wants Yahoo and how much time they're willing to wait to get this deal done.'' Read More>>