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Yahoo dodges Microsoft board ouster move

Posted: 07 Mar 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microsoft bid? search engine? hostile takeover?

Yahoo Inc. on Wednesday extended the deadline for board member nominations, a move seen as a maneuver to thwart a hostile takeover by software giant Microsoft Corp.

The Internet search firm lifted its Mar. 14 deadline, without giving a precise new date, in an effort to buy time as Microsoft was believed planning to oust the 10 Yahoo directors and replace them with a slate favorable to its $44.6 billion cash-and-stock offer for the company, according to Agence France-Presse.

Yahoo is reportedly "pursuing strategic alternatives," while include courting a "white knight" to help rebuff the unwanted suitor.

Gartner analyst Van baker said it is obvious the Yahoo management team does not want to be acquired by Microsoft but that it's having a hard time outright rejecting the reasonable offer. The software giant's $31 per share offer was 62 percent above the Yahoo stock trading price when the offer was made Feb. 1.

Yahoo's board of directors has indicated that the firm is worth at least $40 per share, which would require Microsoft to raise its offer more than $10 billion.

By delaying the nomination date for directors, Yahoo is able to buy time to seek a corporate ally that will lift its financial prospects and make Microsoft's offer unattractive to shareholders. The firm is said to be in talks with AOL and News Corp.

The Google CEO is also said to have called Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang to offer support in fighting of Microsoft's takeover. The search engine giant has condemned Microsoft's effort as an attack on "the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation."

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