Yahoo Eyes Minority Stake Sale by Year-End: Report

Wednesday, 30 November 2011, 12:34 Hrs
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New York:  Internet giant Yahoo Inc is hoping to strike a deal to sell a minority stake to a private-equity firm by year''s end, says a media report.

Offers for a roughly 20 percent stake in Yahoo have come from at least three bidders, including private-equity firm TPG Capital and a group consisting of Silver Lake Partners, Microsoft Corp and others, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an unnamed source.

The bids have put a per-share value of $16-18 on Yahoo, which has a market capitalisation of about $19 billion, but the technology major is seeking a slightly higher price, the report said.

Yahoo''s directors are expected to discuss the offers and get an update on an ongoing strategic review at a board meeting scheduled, the daily reported.

According to the report, the companies are considering a minority investment for a few reasons. First, it''s what Yahoo is pitching, and private-equity firms tend to do deals on friendly terms. Also, it gives them a way to begin to build up control without buying the whole company.

Meanwhile, the report said, Chinese online company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Softbank Corp are looking to buy back Yahoo''s 40 percent stake in Alibaba and 35 percent stake in Yahoo Japan.

Besides, Bain Capital and Blackstone Group are working together on a potential offer for the internet company.

Although, these private equity firms have not signed confidentiality agreements with Yahoo, as doing so would limit their ability to explore offers for the whole company.

The daily further said that Yahoo has restricted parties including Silver Lake, KKR, TPG and Microsoft that have signed the agreements to consider pursuing minority stakes.

Another buyout firm, Thomas H Lee Partners, is pursuing a potential offer for Yahoo''s US operations, consisting of various websites such as Yahoo Finance and Yahoo News and an internet advertising business, it added.

Source: PTI
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