Yahoo for sale? Silver Lake named as first potential buyer

19/09/2011

Yahoo is reportedly attracting interest from potential buyers, with private equity firm Silver Lake Partners named as the first possible bidder for the embattled Internet giant. According to The Wall Street Journal, a number of potential suitors have contacted Yahoo about acquiring all or parts of the company. The news comes little more than a week after Carol Bartz was ousted as CEO after she failed to turn the company around during her nearly three-year term.

19/09/2011

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Founded in 1999, Silver Lake Partners is a leading investment firm in the technology sector and among its most notable investments are Avaya, Sabre Holdings, UGS Corp., Skype, Seagate Technology and Instinet.

The WSJ article also said that potential buyers might not pursue an acquisition unless the company sells its Asia holdings, including a 40-percent stake in China-based Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and a 35-percent stake in Yahoo Japan.

The bidding news comes little more than a week after Carol Bartz was ousted as CEO after she failed to turn the company around during her nearly three-year term.

Bartz's firing came after company directors studied Yahoo's assets and performance, and concluded the company wasn't performing as well as it could. The board came to the conclusion that a change in top management was needed to turn things around.

CFO Tim Morse is serving as interim CEO while the company searches for a replacement for Bartz.

Yahoo also said at the time that it had formed an executive leadership council to conduct "a comprehensive strategic review" of the company's options "for future growth." Although the company did not explicitly say so, published stories quoted sources as saying that Yahoo was open to being acquired.

While The Wall Street Journal indicated that a number of potential buyers had contacted Yahoo, Silver Lake Partners was the only one specifically named in the story.

Three-way ad alliance with AOL and Microsoft?

Meanwhile, The New York Times, reported last week that Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft have reportedly established a partnership under which they will sell advertisements for each other.

The three-way deal is seen as an effort to compete against Google and its domination of the search advertising market.

Microsoft and Yahoo already have an advertising alliance. But problems integrating Yahoo's operations with Microsoft's adCenter platform have resulted in less search-related ad revenue than anticipated.

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