Icahn Not Backing Down on Yahoo Proxy Fight
- By Becky Nagel
- May 22, 2008
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn continues to push for Microsoft to acquire Yahoo -- whether or not Redmond wants to.
"Microsoft would be crazy to give up this opportunity that we handed them in this fight," Icahn said at a charity event on Wednesday night, according to the Bloomberg News Service. "These companies should be merged in one way or another.''
On Monday Microsoft announced that it decided to go after a "part" of Yahoo -- the search part, many analysts speculate. While Microsoft appears to have backed away from trying to acquire all of Yahoo, Icahn has pressed ahead with a proxy battle. He aims to replace Yahoo's 10-member board with individuals more favorable to a complete takeover.
Icahn owns, or has options for, 59 million Yahoo shares -- about 4.3 percent of the company, according to news reports.
On Wednesday, other large investors joined his campaign, including Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, who purchased 10 million shares, plus hedge funds Paulson & Co (50 million shares) and Third Point LLC (five million shares).
Another fund, Legg Mason Capital Management, which owns about 5.4 percent of Yahoo, is also behind the merger and is considering backing Icahn's plan.
Yahoo's annual board meeting, where the election of any new board members will take place, will be held on July 3.
Neither Microsoft nor Yahoo have directly commented on Icahn's plan. Microsoft suggested that some options were still open in a May 18 statement.
"Microsoft is not proposing to make a new bid to acquire all of Yahoo! at this time, but reserves the right to reconsider that alternative depending on future developments and discussions that may take place with Yahoo! or discussions with shareholders of Yahoo! or Microsoft or with other third parties," the statement read.
Becky Nagel is the vice president of Web & Digital Strategy for 1105's Converge360 Group, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital projects at the company, including launching and running the group's popular virtual summit and Coffee talk series . She an experienced tech journalist (20 years), and before her current position, was the editorial director of the group's sites. A few years ago she gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web browser technology would impact online advertising for publishers. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.