Is Yahoo Up for Sale?

Reports are circulating that Yahoo is considering offers to buy out the number two search firm.

Less than three weeks after the ouster of its CEO, search and content giant Yahoo is looking at a range of options to turn the company's fortunes around, including the possibility of putting the firm up for sale, according to an internal company email.

Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) senior executives informed employees of their intentions to examine options including possible suitors in an employee email, International Business Times reported Monday. Datamation was subsequently able to view the email.

The email's authors, which included co-founders and board members Jerry Yang and David Filo as well as Chairman Roy Bostock, said they have hired the Allen & Co. investment bank to help them examine "inquiries from multiple parties that have already expressed interest in a number of potential options," the email said, although it didn’t spell any actions out other than to say that the process is likely to take “months, not weeks.”

Many of Yahoo's troubles began in early 2008, when Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) lofted a hostile bid to take over the company for $44.6 billion. Yang, who was Yahoo's CEO at the time, vehemently resisted and by late spring, Microsoft dropped its attempt.

Yang subsequently lost his post as CEO and Yahoo brought in Carol Bartz to replace him. In late July 2009, Yahoo, under Bartz, announced a deal with Microsoft whereby the software giant now provides its Bing search technology on Yahoo's sites in return for some of the advertising revenues.

However, Yahoo still retains its highly-popular content sites such as Yahoo News and Yahoo Finance. None of that has been enough to turn around Yahoo's sagging fortunes, though, and in early September, Yahoo's board gave Bartz the boot. Everything has been in flux since then.

Although some industry observers have suggested that Microsoft could achieve its originally-planned takeover for a lot less than the original offer, that seems unlikely now, and neither the International Business Times item nor the email itself mention the software titan as a potential contender this time around.

A company spokesperson declined to comment on the email except to say that the company remains open to a wide array of options as it moves forward with its strategic reevaluation of Yahoo’s future directions.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.




Tags: search, Microsoft, Yahoo


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