TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington says a bunch of Valley folks are looking to borrow $20 billion from Microsoft to buy Yahoo for about $15 a share.* Yahoo’s search business would be sold to Microsoft, Yahoo’s management would get canned, etc.
No word on what Microsoft thinks of this idea. But in case anyone’s interested in what Yahoo shareholders think of it, we’re happy to report the results of our one-shareholder survey:
There is NO WAY we are selling Yahoo for about $15 a share.* Done. End of story.
As we wrote a couple of months ago, Yahoo is ridiculously cheap at $12 a share. Even a mediocre new CEO should be able to whack cost out of the company, liquidate the Asian assets and other non-core businesses, and make other obvious fixes to jack the stock price into the mid-teens at the very least (and, hopefully, much higher). And a talented CEO will figure out how to get the growth engine humming again.
So take your TechCrunch trial balloon and shove it where the sun don’t shine, anonymous Valley raiders. This Yahoo shareholder ain’t selling out for about $15 a share.*
* Readers suggest that the search business would be sold to Microsoft before the deal closed, meaning that the gain would accrue to current Yahoo shareholders, not the Yahoo buyers. If this is the case, maybe it gets more interesting. But how much is Microsoft going to pay for this business?
Yahoo has 1.4 billion shares outstanding. So to get an extra $1 a share, you’re talking a $1.4 billion purchase price. And that’s a lot more than the $1 billion Microsoft offerered last summer, when the business was much stronger.