A group of investors led by private- equity firm Silver Lake offered to buy a minority stake in Yahoo! Inc. for about $16.60 a share, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
That was lower than an offer made by private-equity firm TPG Capital, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the bids made this week are private. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., aiming to buy back the stake in itself owned by Yahoo, is monitoring the situation and may still enter the bidding, another person said. Silver Lake’s offer values Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo at $20.6 billion, about 6 percent higher than its capitalization at yesterday’s close.
Silver Lake is working with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and venture- capital firm Andreessen Horowitz to buy part of Yahoo, two people said. Yahoo, exploring strategic options after ousting Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz, aims to wrap up the deal by the end of the year, people said.
“The offer is disappointing,” said Hamilton Faber, an analyst at Atlantic Equities LLP in London with a “neutral” rating on Yahoo shares. “Investors who’ve been buying Yahoo recently were hoping for a significant premium and a takeout of the full company, and this falls short on both counts.”
Yahoo directors are likely to discuss offers at a board meeting scheduled for today, one person said.
Yahoo gained 1.3 percent to $15.90 in trading before U.S. exchanges opened, after closing at $15.70 yesterday. The shares had declined 5.6 percent this year before today.
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