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Yahoo Saga and Posturing Continues

     
8:55 am on Jul 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yahoo Saga and Posturing [marketwatch.com]Continues
Yahoo Inc. Chairman Roy Bostock and Chief Executive Jerry Yang blasted dissident shareholder Carl Icahn as a "corporate agitator" who would "strike any deal" with Microsoft to "get his money back quickly."
In a letter to shareholders, the Yahoo board members also said the company is willing to sell the Web portal for $33 a share or higher to Microsoft Corp. in a deal that delivers "certainty of value and closing."
10:03 am on July 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It does seem like many shareholders were after the quick profit rather than caring about the long term prospect of the company. Speculators don't create an economy, builders do.
10:18 am on July 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Sometimes when a house is sinking into the mud it's best to accept a quick sale since the deeper it sinks the lower the price will fall.
10:48 am on July 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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--It does seem like many shareholders were after the quick profit rather than caring about the long term prospect of the company. Speculators don't create an economy, builders do. --

It's not about whether the MS deal is worth doing, it's about whether the management (who don't actually own Yahoo) have the right to go over the heads of the shareholders (who do actually own Yahoo). If the shareholders want a deal with MS then the management ought to go ahead with it.

I hate people who paint flames down the side of their cars, but if they own the car I've got no right to stop them.

12:54 pm on July 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Different shareholders have different priorities. Most bought the stock to turn a profit on it, not because they were emotionally attached to Yahoo or its management.

Whenever a sale opportunity comes along, shareholders have to decide whether hanging in for another few years will be a better deal for them than taking the current offer. I had some shares in a profitable and growing medical products company that I thought had fantastic potential over the next decade, and I was quite disappointed when the firm was acquired - despite the fact that the offer was a decent premium over recent share prices.

In Yahoo's case, a 30-40% premium combined with somewhat iffy future prospects may be appealing to current shareholders.

Unfortunately, shareholders often take a back seat to management in these deals. Entrenched management may reject good offers, or even accept a bad offer if their own employment contracts, buyouts, golden parachutes, etc. are sweet enough.

1:15 pm on July 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Jerry Yang blasted dissident shareholder Carl Icahn

Good thing Icahn is not a chinese dissident as otherwise he might have already been in jail...

1:38 pm on July 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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>>Jerry Yang blasted dissident shareholder Carl Icahn

I have first hand experience... Ask past TWA (Trans World Airlines) employees what they think of Carl Icahn.

11:03 pm on July 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Though one may well consider employees to be stakeholders in an organization, and an exceptionally important part of its ongoing existence, it's the shareholders who own the enterprise and who should be the primary determinants of company policy.
2:17 am on July 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Investors obviously have the most important say in the matter because in the age of a Microsoft search monopoly it will after all be a very active market thus providing long term feasibility in the notion of consolidation.

...or back in reality it could mean that investors only care about money and have no clue about the long term consequences of their short term ambitions.

@ superclown2, What are your assets in comparison to Yahoo's? Between you and Yahoo who is getting more air above the water?

@ Lord Majestic, too bad because such an end would fit the nature of his character perfectly.

I don't have emotional attachment to any company though if Yahoo disappears one way or another it will directly affect all who work in the industry.

- John

3:45 am on July 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Does Jerry Yang have any other solutions to shareholders than playing second fiddle to Microsoft and Google. Has he put forward any strategy other than hiding under the wings of google and creating an unhealthy monopoly.

By admitting he has to do a deal with google to survive has not Jerry Yang also admitted he is incompetent his board of directors are incompetent and he should just leave the company and go and work for Google himself rather than drag the company and shareholders into an unhealthy alliance with google.

6:36 am on July 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Though one may well consider employees to be stakeholders in an organization, and an exceptionally important part of its ongoing existence, it's the shareholders who own the enterprise and who should be the primary determinants of company policy.

That does seem to be the way it works many times and it is great when the interests of the people that work there and the shareholders align but in this case it doesn't seem like they do. Seems like we'll all be better off if Yahoo! stays independent. Icahn wants a quick buck, M$FT somehow thinks Yahoo! will help them but it seems like Yang is the only one that has something other than a quick profit in mind. If Y! wouldn't have gotten side tracked with that Hollywood CEO dude for years they'd probably be in a much better position today.

5:48 pm on July 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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>By admitting he has to do a deal with google to survive has not Jerry Yang also admitted he is incompetent

Ah, the lovely smell of Monday-morning coach-roasting. If there are two competitors, one will come in second, and one will come in next-to-last. That's mathematical inevitability, and competence or lack of it can't change mathematics.