While Yahoo is facing a proxy battle against Icahn, here comes Microsoft trying to save the day for Yahoo. It issued a rather vague statement suggesting that it wants to renegotiate with Yahoo on the possibility of partnering up on its online advertising businesses. Here’s the full text of the short statement issued by Microsoft:
“In light of developments since the withdrawal of the Microsoft proposal to acquire Yahoo! Inc., Microsoft announced that it is continuing to explore and pursue its alternatives to improve and expand its online services and advertising business. Microsoft is considering and has raised with Yahoo! an alternative that would involve a transaction with Yahoo! but not an acquisition of all of Yahoo! Microsoft is not proposing to make a new bid to acquire all of Yahoo! at this time, but reserves the right to reconsider that alternative depending on future developments and discussions that may take place with Yahoo! or discussions with shareholders of Yahoo! or Microsoft or with other third parties.
“There of course can be no assurance that any transaction will result from these discussions.”
Clearly, Microsoft was not proposing another buyout bid, but rather a cooperative agreement that would zero in on advertising deal. Of course we all know that Google and Yahoo are currently working on a paid advertising deal. So, it would be safe to say that Microsoft doesn’t want that to push through.
What is not clear is how such deal would prevent the proxy battle waged by Icahn? The Yahoo sage continues to become more colorful.