Yahoo takeover bid rumours: AOL and News Corp named as suitors

15/10/2010

Yahoo’s shares rose 11% yesterday on the back on speculation that the struggling online media giant is the object of a takeover attempt, with both AOL and News Corporation in the running as possible bidders. Reuters reports that several private equity firms have approached Internet and media companies including News Corp and AOL to gauge their interest in buying out Yahoo.

The news agency quoted a source ‘with knowledge of the approaches’ as saying a potential deal would be contingent on Yahoo selling its lucrative Asian assets, including a 40% stake in China's Alibaba Group and 34.5% of Yahoo Japan.

15/10/2010

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Talks with News Corp and AOL began about two weeks ago and intensified in recent days, but Yahoo had not yet been approached as talks were still in their early stages, the source said.

Yahoo shares, which finished Wednesday up nearly 6 percent, gained another 9.5 percent to $16.71 in extended trading. Shares in Alibaba.com and Yahoo Japan rose in Asia trading.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that Yahoo is working with Goldman Sachs to help defend possible takeover approaches, citing three sources.

Yahoo is in the midst of a broader turnaround effort that has seen it strike a search pact with Microsoft, rebuild its technology infrastructure and divest non-core assets in order to focus on bolstering content on its key news, sports and finance web pages.

However, some analysts have suggested that Chief Executive Carol Bartz is not moving quickly enough.

In addition to striking the Microsoft search deal, Bartz has pushed to get Zynga Game Network's popular social games onto Yahoo's content pages.

News Corp, AOL, and Yahoo have so far declined comment on the Reuters report.

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