For some reason this morning several high profile stories I have been ranting about in recent months have floated to the top of the headline heap again.
I just read that Yahoo!
) CEO Jerry Yang is ready to return to the bargaining table with Microsoft
) stating: "To this day, I believe the best thing for Microsoft to do is to buy Yahoo," Yang said Wednesday evening at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! This has to be one of the biggest jokes in the investment world -- unless you are a Yahoo! shareholder. It was only last week I posted Yahoo rejects $30 to buy itself for $12?
Microsoft could now offer a 20% premium to today's stock price and still buy Yahoo for half what it offered last January. What do they say -- "good things come to those who wait". This is certainly a screaming example.
I would love to be in the conference room or on the call when Microsoft offers up a few crumbs to bail them out of a sticky situation. I was against MSFT doing the deal for a bloated price before, but it might make sense now. It could buy the company, and with Wall Street titan and M&A guy Carl Icahn on board, slice and dice this thing so that it cost them next to nothing to get the search advertising part of the company they coveted.
Yang looks like a child playing with grown-ups and his biography is taking one hit after another. Good thing he does not need food money and will never have to work again no matter what happens. By contrast, if Yahoo! took the $44 billion it would have been the deal of the year and Yang would look brilliant again. If I was a shareholder I would be really, really steamed!
Sheldon Liber is the CEO of a small private investment company and the principal for design and research at an architecture & planning firm. He writes the columns Chasing Value and Serious Money. Disclosure: I do not own shares of MSFT or YHOO.