Microsoft Willing to Co-Finance Yahoo Buy: Report
Reports emerge that Microsoft may lend its financial muscle to a potential $10 billion buyout of the Internet pioneer.The saga of Yahoo's potential sale, which includes a possible proxy battle and overtures from Verizon, took another turn yesterday. Deep-pocketed Microsoft is interested in helping finance a potential deal but not an outright buy of Yahoo, according to a March 24 report in Re/code. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the software giant is conducting exploratory discussions headed by Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development at Microsoft and head of acquisition strategy. Microsoft is motivated to maintain a good partnership with whomever ends up acquiring the embattled Web company, said the report. Last year, the companies renewed and modified their 10-year search and advertising partnership (Yahoo Search is powered by Microsoft Bing) five years into the original pact. "Over the past few months, [Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella] and I have worked closely together to establish a revised search agreement that allows us to enhance our user experience and innovate more in our search business. This renewed agreement opens up significant opportunities in our partnership that I'm very excited to explore," Yahoo CO Marissa Mayer said in an April 16, 2015 announcement.
Seeking to strengthen its position in a growing online ad market, Microsoft made a hostile bid for Yahoo in early 2008. Under former CEO Steve Ballmer, Microsoft offered to pay nearly $45 billion, representing a hefty 62 percent premium over Yahoo's stock price of $31 at the time. Today, Yahoo is reportedly seeking $10 billion for its core Internet business after spinning off its $30 billion stake in Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant.