Amidst news of Yahoo’s ousting of CEO Carol Bartz, the Wall Street Journal cites “people familiar with the matter” as saying that the beleaguered search company is “open to selling itself to the right bidder.”
Yahoo is also expected to undergo a “strategic review” by outside advisers, though such a review would be intended to explore ways in which the company could grow, not whether it’s in a good position to be sold—hence, that “right bidder” part.
Yahoo may have very well found the right bidder, though it’d need a time machine that could take if back to 2008. You’ll recall that Microsoft had offered a whopping $44.6 billion for Yahoo—an offer that Yahoo ultimately rejected, with founder Jerry Yang referring to the offer as a “distraction.”
Microsoft had offered $33 per share for Yahoo, with Yahoo “reportedly holding out for up to $37 a share,” according to a 2008 TIME article. Yahoo and Microsoft eventually forged a partnership wherein Microsoft’s Bing search engine would power Yahoo’s search results.
Yahoo’s stock price currently sits at just under $13 per share, enjoying a slight bump after Bartz was fired—the stock hovered at close to $30 per share back in February 2008 when it rejected Microsoft’s offer.
The match wouldn’t have exactly been made in heaven—Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer “indicated that his main interest in Yahoo was for its massive reach rather than for its technology”—but Yahoo hasn’t exactly pulled out of its nosedive over the past three years. Finding the “right bidder” may prove to be a herculean task for Yahoo in 2011 and beyond.
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