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 strategy. She also serves as executive editor of the group's media Web sites, and you'll even find her byline on PureAI.com, the group's newest site for enterprise developers working with AI. She recently gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web technology may impact publishers' bottom lines. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.