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Yahoo takeover bid imminent

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$25bn Yahoo takeover bid

A takeover bid is being prepared for ailing search giant Yahoo that would value the company at approximately $25bn (£16bn).

Private equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital are heading a consortium that also includes Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba and Japanese telecommunications provider Softbank Corp, a source told Reuters. They are willing to pay $20 per share in a deal that would value Yahoo at $25bn – the largest leveraged buyout for several years.

The fall and fall of Yahoo

Nevertheless, the figure represents a significant fall on Microsoft’s rejected cash-and-shares bid for Yahoo in January 2008, which valued the company at $45bn. Since then, Yahoo’s struggles have continued to mount. Indeed, the company has been leaderless since the September 2011 firing of chief executive officer Carol Bartz – one of the key architects of the Yahoo & Microsoft Search Alliance.

Yahoo’s board had been hoping to only sell part of the company. Interestingly, sources close to the situation claim that it has already received two bids for minority stakes – one from private equity firm TPG Capital and another from private equity firm Silver Lake working in conjunction with Microsoft. It remains unclear whether the board would welcome an outright bid.

Mark Baker, online marketing manager at theEword, said: “Yahoo is one of the most recognisable names on the web so in many ways it is unsurprising that so many bidders are coming forward. However, the company has been treading water for so long that any buyers will need to invest heavily simply to show that the brand can remain relevant in the modern era.”

Written by Richard Frost

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