Not “formal” talks, says Kara Swisher, who reported them. Just “informal talks.” Which of course are the same thing:
According to sources close to both companies, there are informal discussions now taking place between Yahoo (YHOO) and Microsoft (MSFT)–via bankers, board members, shareholders and others close to both companies–to try to prevent a hostile takeover scenario or the sudden withdrawal of Microsoft’s offer.
Both options are unattractive for a number of reasons to pretty much everyone and, in BoomTown’s opinion, an excellent example of how juvenile this takeover battle has become (or “amateur hour,” as one source close to both companies described it to me)…
What’s interesting to me is how a lot of the strategies are being described as being needed to preserve face and macho status in the industry and on Wall Street.
If that last bit is true–and, sadly, it’s believable–Kara is right: Both sides need to grow up. Kara suggests a private dinner between Jerry and Steve. We coudn’t agree more. In fact, we proposed exactly this the day the bid was announced. We think Jerry should try to persuade Steve to combine the companies by spinning Microsoft’s web business into a stand-alone Yahoo because the current deal will be a disaster, but that’s a different story.
But more importantly…this is why Yahoo’s stock is on a rocket-ride this afternoon. A friendly deal is best for all involved–and best for the stock price.
*UPDATE: Latest from Kara is that the companies may meet on neutral ground soon–in Oregon. Or Microsoft may launch a proxy fight tomorrow.
Inches away?…. (Kara’s awesome photo)
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