(DIYA TV) — Search engine giant Yahoo! will begin approaching potential corporate and private equity buyers as soon as today, according to people close to the process, and a report by Bloomberg Business.
Verizon, Comcast and AT&T are just a few familiar names said to be interested in purchasing stakes in the company, as well as buyout firms Bain Capital Partners, KKR & Co. and TPG, according to the report. The first round of bidding likely will not end for at least a month, sources close to the situation said to Diya TV on the terms of anonymity, as the situation isn’t public.
Yahoo said Friday it began hiring financial advisers and instructed independent board members explore strategic options — the company is looking to take necessary steps to transform itself after another failed quarter, which this time is resulting in the layoff of 15 percent of the companies workforce, CEO Marissa Mayer said. The company is beginning to face strong scrutiny from investors of the former Google execs decisions — Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and PJT Partners Inc. will provide financial counsel, the Web company said a statement.
Even if Yahoo decides against selling, it must do something to satisfy its shareholders, who have grown weary and tired of Mayer, and hearing that the company is some great turnaround story waiting to happen. Fourth quarter results reported earlier this year left investors extremely underwhelmed, and Mayer, who joined the company in 2012, has failed to get the company back on track. Yahoo continues to lose ground to Google —where Mayer was notoriously known for shrinking the search engine giant’s font size to monetize additional ad space— Twitter and Facebook in online and mobile ad markets.
The company has begun cutting costs to prevent hemorrhaging. As mentioned previously, scores of layoffs have been announced, the company has shut down some of its online magazines, all of which may not prove to be enough.
“The company needs to be more focused. There is a lot more that needs to be done,” said Eric Jackson, managing director of SpringOwl Asset Management, a hedge fund that has called for big changes at Yahoo — including the firing of Mayer. She is the company’s eighth CEO (including two interim ones), since 2001, and could very well be its last.
Some of the company’s most well-known assets might have to be put on the market for sale — Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Mail, Flickr and Tumblr.
Mayer has struggled to boost sales and separate Yahoo from a $26 billion stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Backdoor discussions of waging a proxy war against her have already begun, and Starboard Value LP is taking initial steps to unseat her from her current position, where her salary is $117 million over five years.
As of early Monday, Yahoo’s share price climbed 2.8 percent to $30.87 as of 1 p.m. EST. Through Friday’s close, however, shares declined 10 percent this year after having already dramatically decreased 34 percent in 2015. The aforementioned share price gives the company a value of about $29 billion.
Yahoo’s days as an independent company may be numbered, and it would appear that Wall Street couldn’t be happier.