Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, pressing Yahoo to rekindle takeover talks with Microsoft, won more support from shareholders as the Internet...
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, pressing Yahoo to rekindle takeover talks with Microsoft, won more support from shareholders as the Internet company weighed new proposals from its former suitor.
T. Boone Pickens, chairman of BP Capital, told CNBC on Tuesday that he bought 10 million shares, or less than 1 percent of Yahoo, after Icahn said he’ll seek to oust its directors if they fail to combine with the software maker.
Microsoft scrapped its planned takeover May 3. Microsoft has since offered to buy Yahoo’s search unit, two people familiar with the talks said Monday.
Under the proposed terms, Microsoft would get a passive stake in Yahoo, which would keep its display-advertising unit and spin off holdings in Asia, said one of the people, who declined to be named because talks are private. The move may not be enough to appease Icahn, backed by investors such as Paulson & Co.
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“It’s not good for Yahoo,” said Colin Gillis, an analyst at Canaccord Adams in New York. “What do they wind up getting, more cash on their balance sheet? You’ve got lesser assets, more cash and Carl Icahn owns your shares. That’s not a good combination.” He recommended selling Yahoo shares.
Pickens, 79, told broadcaster CNBC that he bought 10 million Yahoo shares, which would be worth about $277 million based on Monday’s closing price. “Icahn is a smart guy,” Pickens told CNBC. “He does great things for shareholders, and now I’m a shareholder. When I saw what he did, I jumped in behind him.”
Third Point, a New York hedge fund led by activist investor Daniel Loeb, has amassed more Yahoo stock and will support Icahn, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday.
Third Point bought 1 million shares of Yahoo and 6.85 million shares of Microsoft in the first quarter, according to a regulatory filing. Elliot Sloane, a spokesman for the firm, declined to comment.
Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw and Yahoo spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler didn’t return phone messages seeking comment. Icahn didn’t return a message left at his office.