Yahoo Investors Make life Uncomfortable for Yang and Co

07 May 2008

SUNNYVALE, California: Yahoo shareholders' fury appears to know no bounds following the decision by the company co-founder/ceo Jerry Yang not to accept Microsoft's sweetened offer and the software giant's subsequent withdrawal from further negotiations.

Many investors claim they would have been happy to accept the circa $33 (€21.29; £16.76) per share Microsoft was offering. They want to know why Yahoo appeared unwilling to bridge the gap with its own valuation of $37 a share.

A number of investment mangers say shareholders are "pretty irate" and demanding that the struggling online search pioneer should "reopen the dialogue".

Other investors could be preparing to stage a mutiny at the annual meeting, scheduled for July 15, when  directors' seats on the board are looking somewhat shaky.

Yang and fellow co-founder David Filo have been criticized for personally conducting negotiations with Microsoft. Some investors believe they are less than 100% committed to a sale of the company they created.

These charges are robustly denied by Yang, who says: "There should be no question about our willingness to sell . . . We as a company and I personally have always been open to a deal with Microsoft and I hope that the last few days it was clear that we have shown we're willing to do a deal with Microsoft but that we couldn't get to an agreement on price."

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