Itching for something to happen on the Microsoft-Yahoo front? So are we. But Steve Ballmer’s confirmation of a “dialogue” notwithstanding, we may be here a while.
During the pandemonium of early February, DealBook took a look at how long these big hostile deals take on average–as well as what the odds of withdrawal-vs-agreement were. Specifically, Sorkin & Co. analysed 48 hostile bids over $10 billion going back to 1998. Here’s what they found:
ODDS OF OUTCOME
- 50% chance of withdrawal
- 38% chance of agreement
- 12% still pending
AVERAGE DURATION BEFORE RESOLUTION
- 131 days
This said, something tells us Steve Ballmer isn’t going to sit around doing nothing through June. Given the support of the Microsoft (MSFT) bid from Yahoo shareholders, we think an Exchange offer or proxy fight is likely, either of which could finally force Yahoo (YHOO) to the negotiating table (if it isn’t there already).
The economy–and the chaos spawned by the Yahoo bid–are also working against Yahoo. Microsoft is much better positioned to withstand economic weakness than Yahoo is, and its Internet business could collapse completely without hurting the company’s financial performance.