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Yahoo on the Block?

2011-10-10 10:16:41
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Yahoo's (Nasdaq: YHOO) been making a lot of choking sounds lately, and to some companies,that sounds like a mating call. Rumors once again started flaring up that buyers are on the hunt to snap up the once-dominant search provider, and Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) name is getting passed around.

Reports have been going in all sorts of different directions. One story's anonymous source says one thing, another's says the opposite, and Microsoft is reportedly denying it's into Yahoo at all. It's already been down this road before - several years ago Microsoft tried to buy Yahoo for $47 billion, but it was turned down and had to settle for a much lower-key deal that melded the back ends of their search engines.

If Microsoft is honestly not interested, other possibilities exist. Rumoured potential buyers include Silver Lake, Russia's Digital Sky Technologies, and China's Alibaba Group, in which Yahoo already owns a 40 percent stake.

This time around, of course, Microsoft or anyone else wouldn't pay anything close to $47 billion for Yahoo. Even back when Microsoft made that offer, Yahoo was in decline, but now that roll downhill has been worsened by competition with companies like Facebook. Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) grown stronger, Yahoo's lost search market share to Bing, and it just finished firing its own CEO, so there's no permanent leadership currently in place. Social networking, cloud services and mobile have passed it by, a few apps notwithstanding.

Unless Yahoo can land a one-in-a-billion visionary CEO with huge ideas and the ability to get its board to swallow big risks, a sale might be the only way to keep the Yahoo brand going.

Whatever deal comes along still might involve some amputations, though. Lots of Yahoo's holdings are in Asia, and that tentacle might prove to be too difficult for a U.S.-based buyer work into its plans. Depending on who that buyer is, if any, Yahoo might end up lopping that part off and sending it to China. (Source: Tech News World)


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