Microsoft ratchets up pressure on Yahoo
Wednesday 20 February 2008
Microsoft is set to ask Yahoo shareholders to oust the internet pioneer's board if they do not agree to the $45bn (£23bn) takeover offer put on the table three weeks ago.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, is seeking permission from his own board to plan a vicious proxy fight at the next Yahoo shareholder meeting, putting up a slate of Microsoft-sponsored alternative directors who would have instructions to accept the software giant's bid.
Approval for the plan could come within days, ratcheting up the pressure on Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, as the two sides engage in a game of brinkmanship which Yahoo's shareholders hope will prompt Microsoft to raise its offer.
Microsoft has taken soundings from its own investors and is believed to be reluctant to increase its $31-a-share cash-and-stock bid for Yahoo, every dollar of which would add more than $1bn extra to the cost of the takeover.
Although shareholder after shareholder in Yahoo has publicly stated that Microsoft should raise its offer to clinch a deal, they have been notably silent on what they would do if Micro-soft fails to raise. Yahoo shares were worth less than $20 each before Mr Ballmer made his offer on 31 January. Bill Gates, the co-founder and chairman of Microsoft, weighed into the fray this week, quashing suggestions that the company was already in talks to add more cash or Microsoft shares to sweeten its offer. "We sent them a letter and said we think that's a fair offer. There's nothing that's gone on other than us stating that we think it's a fair offer," he said. "They should take a hard look at it."
Microsoft has until 13 March to put up a slate of directors to replace existing board members, with a vote coming at the annual shareholder meeting in June or July. All the existing board are up for re-election annually.
Innisfree, a legal firm specialising in soliciting support for proxy battles, was hired by Microsoft in the days after its hostile app-roach to Yahoo.
The software giant is determined to secure the takeover after almost two years of being rebuffed by Yahoo.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 3 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
New York snow: Winter Storm Juno downgraded as 'one of the largest snowstorms in history' fails to show
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...