While Microsoft (MSFT) pretends to be earnestly working on the details of a byzantine three-part transaction that will chop up Yahoo (YHOO) and leave Microsoft with its “search business” (whatever that is), Yahoo has hung another FOR SALE sign around its neck (in the WSJ). It also has reminded Microsoft that it’s just inches away from signing that Microsoft-killing Google search deal (translation: clock ticking)
Microsoft, meanwhile, has told Yahoo shareholders (through the WSJ) that it would be happy to buy Yahoo but that those crazy founders are still holding out for a ludicrous $37 (translation: We’re the reasonable ones here; If you want to help get a deal done, call crackpot Yang and tell him to get real):
Yahoo’s camp has reacted cautiously to the [wacky asset sale] proposal but is prepared to do a full-company deal if the price is right, people close to the company say. Yahoo’s board, concerned by the negative shareholder reaction to the collapsed talks, is more inclined to do a deal, the people say.
Microsoft isn’t convinced Yahoo founders Jerry Yang and David Filo are willing to accept anything less than $37 a share, according to people close to the software company. But some of the people view the latest talks as an excuse to try to restart discussion of a full Yahoo acquisition, which some at Microsoft would still prefer. Yahoo on Thursday delayed its annual shareholders meeting from July 3 to “around the end of July” the company said.
For now, discussions remain focused on Yahoo’s search business without any new negotiations on a full acquisition, people close to the matter say. Yahoo separately is close to a deal to carry search ads from Google Inc., say people familiar with the matter — a pact that could further stir the waters.
Full acquisition at $34 getting more likely all the time.