The Channel logo

News

By | Cade Metz 20th February 2008 01:15

Microsoft preps Yahoo! proxy attack

Fair's fair

When Bill Gates says an offer is fair, he means it.

According to The New York Times' DealBook blog, Microsoft will soon spark a Yahoo! proxy fight rather than up its $44.6bn bid for the beleaguered Web portal.

An increased bid would cost the company billions more, but sources tell DealBook that Microsoft could launch a proxy battle simply by spending an extra $20m to $30m on a proxy solicitor and some letters to Yahoo! shareholders.

From the beginning, Redmond has said it "reserves the right to pursue all necessary steps to ensure that Yahoo!'s shareholders are provided with the opportunity to realize the value inherent" in its takeover bid. And as DealBook points out, Yahoo! may have difficulty suppressing a proxy fight. All of the company's directors face re-election this year - the board isn't staggered, as they say - and a mere plurality of votes can put new names in place.

Microsoft has offered what amounts to $31 a share for Jerry Yang's baby. Upping this offer just a dollar per share would cost the company an extra $1.4bn, and from Redmond's perspective, Yahoo! isn't worth an extra penny. "We sent them a letter and said we think that's a fair offer," Gates told The AP. "There's nothing that's gone on other than us stating that we think it's a fair offer... They should take a hard look at it."

In other words, give in or get ready for a proxy fight. ®

comment icon Read 13 comments on this article alert Send corrections

Opinion

WWI French tank picture via Shutterstock
Vinod_Khosla

Chris Mellor

A VC with startup agenda slams established suppliers. Surprised? Neither were we
ZenPad_RealRacing
Boy writes a letter to Santa. Pic via Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Cornwall's win over BT should be a cautionary relationship tale

Features

Eclipse image via Shutterstock
The Azure Portal: Microsoft is betting on cloud for its future business
container_ship_hamburg_shutterstock_648
Michael Dell. Pic by Joi Ito
Cool Texas dude is just your average billionaire