Microsoft (MSFT) will make its next Yahoo (YHOO) move this morning, says Kara Swisher. (The WSJ is more vague, saying a move is “imminent.”). Whenever it happens, the move will likely be either 1) walking or 2) filing a board slate.
Walking would certainly shake up the country club. Yahoo stock would crash to the low $20s, and Yahoo shareholders who have been pissing and moaning about how Microsoft won’t even give them one lousy additional dollar will have some other things to piss and moan about. Especially if the economy continues to deteriorate for the next quarter or two.
The filing of the board slate, meanwhile, would really just be a placeholder, a way for Microsoft to keep the pressure on and its options open–perhaps while Steve and Jerry hold secret meetings in Oregon. Our understanding is that, even if Microsoft goes fully hostile, it will take a week or two to get all the paperwork done for a formal Exchange Offer (direct to shareholders). The filing of the proxy slate, therefore, would be a half-measure, a way of ratcheting up the pressure without actually doing anything.
(It would also really be a non-event. Despite some twitter yesterday afternoon when TechCrunch reported that former News Corp exec Ross Levinsohn is on the slate, it is largely irrelevant who Microsoft picks. If Microsoft wins the proxy fight, the directors will have to vote to sell the company. That’s it.)
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