Yahoo open to sale if price is right [Update]

The surprise and abrupt firing of Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz on Monday (over the phone, no less) is still sending shock waves in the tech industry in particular and the business world in general. Bartz was brought in to lead Yahoo back in January 2009 after Yahoo failed to reach an agreement to sell the company to Microsoft. Now an unnamed Yahoo representative seems to have confirmed that the company could be putting a "For Sale" sign up on its virtual lawn if it gets a good offer.

The Wall Street Journal (paid registration required) reports that the company spokesperson said, "Yahoo is open to selling itself to the right bidder." However another story from the New York Times quotes another source as saying that such a sale is already a "non-starter". It adds that Yahoo could still sell parts of its business, specifically its Asian-owned properties as well as some of its communication subsidiaries.

One of the problems with an all out sale for Yahoo is that the company is still pretty big in terms of its market value. At the moment Yahoo is worth about $16 billion which could keep even large companies such as Google, Microsoft and Apple from being interested in purchasing Yahoo. Back in 2008, Microsoft tried and failed to buy Yahoo for $45 billion, in part because Yahoo's co-founder and then CEO Jerry Yang didn't want to sell off the company to one of its biggest rivals. In the end Microsoft most likely was happy the deal ultimately didn't go through as the economy crashed later that year and took Yahoo's stock price down with it.

Update: AllthingsD.com reports that Yahoo's Jerry Yang told employees today that the company is not up for sale and that it is currently searching for a new CEO to replace Bartz. He also said Yahoo was aiming to increase its revenue and profit numbers but gave no specifics on how the company plans to do that.

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13 Comments

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Whoever buys it I hope they leave the Yahoo mail alone, or at least make sure not to ruin it, their "webapp" is second to none...
Honestly not sure why I care much though as I haven't been using any emails web interface for quite a while, managing all my mails from some form of client, mostly the iOS standard one.

yahoo missed the train & will never get an offer like what microsoft offered again. there board saw $$$ with microsoft and the greed pushed them away


they want 16 bil , i can see them getting an offer of 10.5 at the most. the question is will they miss the train a 2nd time ?

When Microsoft made the offer, Yahoo stock was around $19. So it was not really too far from what it is today.

Yahoo should have been sold when they were at their peak 7 years ago.

Never look a gift horse in the mouth as MS had offered far too much at the time.

im still bet for Microhoo. However Microsoft owns Bing while Apple does not have a online search service.

MFH said,

And get major headaches due to anti-trust regulations

Indeed... They have managed to avoid any yet though (chrome ads on googles main site, just as bad as putting IE in Windows, not that neither is bad according to me)...