Warren Buffett has his eyes on Yahoo’s internet business.
He told CNBC on Monday that he’d be willing to help finance a bid including Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert for Yahoo’s internet assets.
Reuters had reported Friday that the Berkshire Hathaway CEO and Gilbert were entering the bidding war.
To be sure, Buffett also told CNBC that Yahoo is not the type of business he would ever be an equity partner in.
But he shared his thoughts on the company when CNBC’s Becky Quick — who co-authored Monday’s report — asked Buffett about Yahoo after Berkshire’s annual meeting earlier this month.
Judging from Buffett’s comments, he would want to see some changes if the consortium he could back is able to outbid other interested parties including Verizon.
Buffett said he was impressed with Yahoo Finance’s first-ever livestream of the meeting, and then went on to comment on the business.
Here’s what he said:
Their business has continuously slipped and they have made a lot of acquisitions in the last couple of years. And clearly, it has not turned around the company. I think that they have said that they expect revenue to be down in 2016 again. Something has to change there, obviously.
The question had been directed to get Buffett’s response to news that Marissa Mayer could get a $55 million severance package if the sale of the business means she loses her job.
Buffett has long complained about the lofty levels of executive compensation, and his thoughts about Mayer’s reported package were no different:
Severance numbers just generally throughout American industry are a little crazy.
American CEOs and generally executives and board members, there’s just a ratcheting effect that goes on. And somebody says “I’ve seen a severance package that is x”, and the next person says “well I want one that is one and a half times x,” And when they’re signing people up, they don’t pay much attention to it.
If I were the American shareholder, I think I would get a little irritated with some of these goodbye kisses.