Yahoo sale: Bidders gets deadline as Mayer future in doubt

13/04/2016

Yahoo is officially up for sale, with bidders for the embattled internet pioneer given until April 18th to make a move, according to a news report.

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CNN reports that interested parties have until April 18 to make their offers. The list of interested parties include Verizon, TIME, Daily Mail and even tech giants such as Google and Microsoft are reportedly interested in making offers.

Verizon has emerged as the potential buyer because it now owns Yahoo’s rival AOL. The telecom company bought AOL in 2015 for $4 billion.

CEO Marissa Mayer has indicated that she would like to manage Yahoo through this crisis, but sadly the investors have had enough.

Yahoo is expected to fetch close to $8bn for its core internet business. It’s worth noting that Microsoft made an offer of $44bn in 2008, which Yahoo refused.

Other bidders might be attracted by Yahoo's intellectual property, The New York Post recently reported that the firm owned about 6,000 patents, which it said could be worth $4bn (£2.8bn).
On April 18, Yahoo will evaluate the offers received and it could accept or reject any of the offers.

Dot com pioneer

Back in 2000, Yahoo was at its peak, worth over $255 billion. In 2001, the dot-com bubble burst, tearing down most of the internet companies at the time. Google and Yahoo survived, but while Google thrived, Yahoo never truly recovered. After a series of questionable acquisitions and management missteps, Yahoo is no longer considered an internet pioneer. Yahoo is now valued at $34 billion which is roughly the value of its Asian holdings.

In much of the world, Yahoo may be considered a marginal internet brand. But in the US, it is the third most visited online platform, attracting more than 204 million people, according to research firm Comscore.

To put that in context, Facebook had only 1% more users and Google's apps and websites only 17% more.

Yahoo's news and sports are read by about one in four people at least once a week in the country, according to a University of Oxford study.

Mayer’s future in doubt

The appointment of former Google executive and spokesperson Marissa Mayer as CEO in 2012 was supposed to herald a change in Yahoo's fortunes, but her tenure has yielded little in the way of progress. As a result, Mayer's days at Yahoo are almost certainly numbered, though rumours abound that she will still be in line for a "golden parachute" bonus worth anything up to US$37 million.

Mayer has led the fight to keep Yahoo on its current path, butting heads with Starboard and other investors pushing for a sale.

In February, Yahoo cut its workforce by 15% as part of an “aggressive strategic plan” to drive growth after dropping to a $4.4bn loss for 2015.

The loss was blamed on writedowns – cutting asset values – within its business during the final quarter of the year, as it prepared for the next phase in its turnaround.

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