Icahn Recruits Fellow Billionaire to Yahoo Proxy Fight

22 May 2008

SUNNYVALE, California: Interventionist shareholder Carl Icahn has recruited fellow billionaire, the colorfully monikered T Boone Pickens, to back his attempted Yahoo boardroom coup.

Pickens, a Texan takeover-tycoon, says he has snapped-up 10 million shares in the ailing online pioneer during the last two weeks as he and Icahn put  on pressure for a return to the negotiating table with Microsoft.

Although the software titan walked away from a deal at the beginning of May, when its sweetened offer was rejected, Microsoft said at the weekend it "reserves the right" to reconsider.

The latest gossip fuelling the Silicon Valley rumor mill is that Microsoft could acquire Yahoo's search-advertising business plus its Asian assets, plus a minority stake in what is left of the company.

Icahn has also bought 10 million shares in the web giant, with an option for 49 million more. His 4.3% stake in the business increases his leverage to unseat the entire Yahoo board at its annual meeting in July.

Chairman Roy Bostock, however, has defended the board's actions during the Microsoft talks and has called Icahn's move misguided.

He insists the company will evaluate any Microsoft proposal and do what is best for the shareholders.

Pickens has made no further comment about his purchase of the shares, while Icahn and Yahoo also remain tight-lipped.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff