Carl Icahn’s chances to win the Yahoo proxy war, which had been getting increasingly slim, just dropped to next-to-nothing: Legg Mason’s Bill Miller, who controls 4.4% of of Yahoo shares, just formally sided with Jerry and his existing board.
Technically, Carl still has bullets left: Gordy Crawford, who controls 6.5% of the company, has let it be known that he’s displeased with Jerry, but hasn’t formally come out on Icahn’s side, which leads us to believe that he’s not going to. And in any case, Carl needs 50% of Yahoo shareholders on his side by August 1, and he’s not going to get it with major insitutions pre-emptively voting for Jerry.
This means Yahoo can probably throttle back on its “Carl’s Clueless” campaign (see latest efforts here), but there’s still plenty of string left to play out here. Microsoft can’t formally fight a proxy campaign at this point, but it can still certainly continue to a run at Yahoo, and Jerry and co have formally declared that they’ll sell the whole thing for $33, or search for a price to be named later.
Meanwhile we keep hearing that there is another wave of Yahoo management waiting for something to happen — new leadership, new ownership, or some sort of plan that looks likely to boost the value of their equity — and if it doesn’t, they’ll be out the door ASAP. Don’t breathe easy, Jerry.