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Report: Microsoft Teams with Silver Lake in Possible Yahoo Bid

Details are emerging in a published report on how exactly Microsoft is entering the mix for a potential Yahoo Inc. acquisition.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Microsoft is working with Silver Lake Partners and one of Silver Lake's investors, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). Silver Lake and the CPP were co-investors in Skype, which Microsoft acquired earlier this year for $8.5 billion.

According to the WSJ, Microsoft has been wary of a solo offer for Yahoo after its $44.6 billion bid for the search company failed in 2008. Yahoo's value has fallen considerably since then. At the same time, the WSJ's unnamed sources claim that Microsoft's interest is primarily driven by a desire to protect the search-advertising partnership with Yahoo that has helped Microsoft Bing make gains against Google.

While the potential for Microsoft to get involved has been reported previously, the WSJ's reporting brings new details about the specifics. According to the story:

"Under the proposal being discussed, Microsoft would put up several billion dollars of funding, with additional financing being arranged by banks, the people said. Silver Lake and the CPP Investment Board would kick in the rest of the amount, which would be less than what Microsoft contributes, the people said."

Microsoft and its partners haven't decided if they'll proceed. They are also not alone in their interest in Yahoo; the newspaper said at least nine private equity firms have been looking at a Yahoo buyout.

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Posted by Scott Bekker on October 20, 2011 at 11:58 AM


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