Yahoo! confirmed that it has rejected a joint proposal from Microsoft Corporation and Carl Icahn for a complex restructuring of Yahoo! that would include the acquisition of Yahoo!’s search business by Microsoft. The proposal was made on Friday evening and Yahoo! was given less than 24 hours to accept the proposal, the fundamental terms of which Microsoft and Mr. Icahn made clear they were unwilling to negotiate. After reviewing the proposal with its legal and financial advisers, Yahoo!’s Board of Directors determined that accepting the proposal is not in the best interests of its stockholders.
The Board’s rejection of the proposal was based on a number of factors, including the following:
1. Yahoo!’s existing business plus its recently signed commercial agreement with Google has superior financial value and less complexity and risk than the Microsoft/Icahn proposal.
2. The Microsoft/Icahn proposal would preclude a potential sale of all of Yahoo! for a full and fair price, including a control premium.
3. The major component of the overall value per share asserted by Microsoft/Icahn would be in Yahoo!’s remaining non-search businesses which would be overseen by Mr. Icahn’s slate of directors, which has virtually no working knowledge of Yahoo!’s businesses.
4. The Microsoft/Icahn proposal would require the immediate replacement of the current Board and removal of the top management team at Yahoo!. The Yahoo! Board believes these moves would destabilize Yahoo! for the up to the one year it would take to gain regulatory approval for this deal.