Despite being up for sale, new information obtained by Fortune paints Yahoo as a company that doesn’t want to be sold, and doesn’t have too many interested buyers.
During Yahoo’s last earnings call, CEO Marissa Mayer caved to investor pressure and said the company would entertain acquisition offers and potential buyers have included companies like SoftBank and General Atlantic along with The Daily Mail. But Fortune reports that neither rumoured buyer has signed an NDA yet, nor do they have plans to submit offers for Yahoo.
Microsoft, another rumoured buyer, is opting for a wait-and-see approach and would only support the ultimate bidder as a debt financing partner or to provide small strategic equity, Fortune’s Dan Primack and Erin Griffith report.
Verizon may be the only truly interested suitor, and it may be one of a handful of companies that make a serious bid before Monday’s first-round offer deadline.
But even if Yahoo receives bids, does Yahoo really want to be sold?
One bidder described Yahoo’s auction process to Fortune like this: “It’s been a f — king joke.”
Moreover, most of the bidders haven’t been able to meet with Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer and CFO Ken Goldman face to face. Comcast did,the pair report, but say many of their questions — like about projected Tumblr revenue — went unanswered.
Some have suggested that Mayer’s lack of cooperation comes from a desire to keep Yahoo and rebel against those who want to sell, including activist investor Starboard Value LP.
One bidder told Fortune. “Management is dragging it out to make it as difficult as possible for Starboard. [Yahoo] will have made an effort and talked to all these buyers. They will say they ran this process for four months and no one was interested.”