Could Microsoft (MSFT) and News Corp (NWS) really combine forces to go after Yahoo? Of course. Would this be a smart combination? NO. (See below)
Meanwhile, what’s with all this chatter about how partnering with News Corp would allow Microsoft to raise its Yahoo (YHOO) bid? Microsoft is one of the richest corporations on earth, with a $300 billion market cap, $20 billion of cash, no debt, and a cash-flow fire hose that blasts out $15 billion a year. Why would it need the help of a relatively puny media company to raise its Yahoo bid? Answer? It wouldn’t. (See below)
MSN-Yahoo-MySpace? No Thanks
Yes, we know, MySpace is not quite dead yet. And neither is MSN. Or Yahoo for that matter. But we’ve already been quite clear that we think the Microsoft-Yahoo combination is going to be a disaster, at least if the combination is structured as a wholly-owned division of Microsoft (If Microsoft spins MSN into Yahoo and Yahoo remains a stand-alone public company, we actually love the combo).
But if Microsoft and Yahoo are going to face integration and execution challenges, imagine what would happen if you tried to smash MSN-Yahoo-and-MySpace together at the same time, especially under one gigantic roof in Redmond. Talk about a clusterf***!
Could there eventually be synergy between these companies? Aren’t they complementary in some ways? Yes and yes. On paper. In reality, without perfect execution, the integration process would be a nightmare. We’d far rather see Microsoft spin MSN into Yahoo, Yahoo digest MSN, and THEN, if it still makes sense, the combined company merge with MySpace.
All of which is to say… If Microsoft tries to combat a Yahoo-AOL-Google tie-up by offering, say, $33 a share in Yahoo-MSN-MySpace stock, we expect to say “No, thanks.” If they want to persuade us to take a flyer on that digital-age Frankenstein, they’re going to have to pay a lot more than that.
Does Microsoft Really Need News Corp To Raise Its Yahoo Bid?
Give us a break. Microsoft has a $300 billion market cap, $20 billion in cash, and no debt. Microsoft could jack its Yahoo offer 50% and barely feel it. Whatever cash Murdoch can bring to the table is gravy, not meat.
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