Microsoft bids for stake in Yahoo

Microsoft bids for stake in Yahoo

Microsoft has entered a bidding process for once-great internet search company Yahoo, though this time it’s being made through private equity firm Silver Lake, with an offer that’s just over half the value of the software giant’s 2008 bid.

Microsoft’s last attempt to gain a stake in its one-time search rival saw it offer $33 per share – a bid that was shot down by Yahoo’s then-CEO, Jerry Yang. This time around, with Silver Lake fronting for other investors and the software giant, it’s only gunning for a minority stake – and the offer is down to $16.60 per share.

Despite this however, Yahoo higher-ups haven’t said no right off the bat, with the firm looking to sell up – at least a portion of itself – since former CEO Carol Bartz was let go in September. Still, this makes some sense, as the public trading price of Yahoo shares opened at $15.90 this morning.

The involvement of Microsoft in this deal suggests that it is hoping to asfeguard its 10-year search agreement with Yahoo, which saw the two companies using the same search technology in an attempt to combat the dominance of Google in the market.

Silver Lake isn’t the only consortium looking to gain a stake though. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which also wants to buy back the share of itself that’s owned by Yahoo, is expected to enter the bidding at some point. Bloomberg also notes that private-equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners as well as KKR & Co. and Blackstone Group LP could also be in the running.

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