Yahoo! was again courted by Microsoft this past weekend in a deal that might be akin to drunk dialing. Drunk Dialing, you know, you’ve had too much to drink and its late and you really want to talk to someone so you convince yourself that you should call them even if it is 4 in the morning. Basically, you throw away any hint of reason and against your better judgement you do it anyway. Well it seems that Microsoft did a little drunk dialing on the weekend, called up Yahoo! and made another offer that left many heads shaking and gave them 24 hours to decide.
Microsoft teamed up with Yahoo! stockholder Carl C Ichan in a bid to take over Yahoo! and completely replace(fire) the entire board of directors and the top management team.
Wow, they must have had a few too many Grey Goose martinis if they thought that one would have passed.
Yahoo! Chairman Roy Bostock had the following to say in an official release from Yahoo!;
“This odd and opportunistic alliance of Microsoft and Carl Icahn has anything but the interests of Yahoo!’s stockholders in mind. Clearly, Microsoft, having failed to advance in search, is aligning with the short-term objectives of Mr. Icahn to coerce Yahoo! into selling its core strategic search assets on terms that are highly advantageous to Microsoft, but disadvantageous to Yahoo! stockholders. Yahoo’s Board of Directors will not allow that to happen. Yahoo!’s Board remains open to any transaction that delivers full value to our stockholders – we just do not believe such a transaction should be dictated by Microsoft and a single short-term investor…"
…After negotiating among themselves without the involvement of Yahoo!, Carl Icahn and Microsoft presented us with a ‘take it or leave it’ proposal under which we would be required to restructure the Company, hand over to Microsoft Yahoo!’s valuable search business and to Carl Icahn the rest of the Company, giving us less than 24 hours to respond. It is ludicrous to think that our Board could accept such a proposal. While this type of erratic and unpredictable behavior is consistent with what we have come to expect from Microsoft, we will not be bludgeoned into a transaction that is not in the best interests of our stockholders”
In business speak that translates to; ‘Are you out of your *&$%@#^mind? Look we were never together. I’m with Google now, ok? You need to move on. Go buy Apple or something’
In the press release Yahoo! references its new deal with Google and refers to it as having ‘superior financial value and less complexity and risk than the Microsoft/Icahn proposal’
This doesn’t mean the dance is over yet. Later in the press release Yahoo! states that it ready to sell to Microsoft for the original $33 but Microsoft balked at that deal. I’m not certain but the recent deal with Google’s AdWords, that has come under scrutiny, might have something to do with it.
Whatever happens this sure has been fun to watch, sort of like Desperate Housewives for search nerds
Stay Tuned next week as Steve Balmer cuts the break lines on Jerry Yang’s Mercedes – that is a total falsehood but would make for a good movie though, wouldn’t it?