Thursday, October 20, 2011
Apparently the various groups of potential bidders (strategics and private equity) for Yahoo! are balking at signing the NDA Yahoo! has offered up to them. According to Reuters, what's causing the consternation is the "no cross-talk" provision that permits potential bidders from engaging with other potential bidders about possibly putting together a collective bid. At $20 billion market cap, the thought is that none of the present potential bidders (save perhaps Microsoft) can pull off the deal on their own and that if a deal is to be done, the bidders will have to get together in some sort of consortium. Of course, from Yahoo's perspective, the more bidders it has out there preparing bids, the better. At some point, however, the board might decide that there is a risk that potential bidders will start walking away. At that point, I expect the board will re-evaluate its decision not to permit cross-talking. Meanwhile, off in the corner, AOL is apparently telling anyone who might listen that it would be happy to be part of a deal or almost any kind with Yahoo.