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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Microsoft and Yahoo - The Bidding is likely to increase

Microsoft Corp. isn't planning to raise its initial unsolicited $44.6 billion bid to buy Yahoo Inc., according to The Wall Street Journal.

Although some have said Microsoft would up the ante for the company, people familiar with the deal told The Journal that it was unlikely to happen. The sources said Microsoft was using the possibility of an increased bid to entice Yahoo to meet to discuss the offer. So far, the companies have only met once.

"There's no reason to bid against ourselves," one of people familiar with the deal told The Journal. Microsoft's bid was initially worth $44.6 billion, however, a decline in Microsoft's shares means the offer is currently about $42 billion.

Yahoo and Microsoft declined to comment on the report. Yahoo rejected Microsoft's offer on Feb. 10, saying it undervalued the company.

According to the newspaper's sources, Microsoft believes it can wait because it doubts Yahoo investors were swayed by the company's recent presentation on its three-year financial plan. The sources also said Microsoft doesn't think anything in the presentation would justify a higher price.

Other people told The Journal that Microsoft has no immediate plans to nominate a slate of directors to replace Yahoo's directors.

The newspaper also said Yahoo may be amenable to an offer of $40 a share from Microsoft, although others believe it will be in the mid-$30 range.

Although there have been rumors about a deal that would merge Time Warner Inc.'s AOL Internet business into Yahoo, the sources told The Journal that the mostly likely outcome would be an acquisition by Microsoft, in part, because no company wants to take on the leading software company.


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