Microsoft’s directors are expected to consider a range of options, including Microsoft raising its offer in an attempt to break the stalemate on the issue of takeover of Yahoo.
Microsoft has considered increasing the bid, currently valued at $29.06 a share, to $32 or $33. Microsoft’s CEO Steven A Ballmer, has personally called some large Yahoo shareholders to get their support for a bid in that range. But Microsoft executives have been frustrated by signs that such shareholders are holding out for an even higher offer in the range of $35 to $37 a share. Without that higher offer, those shareholders have been unwilling to press Yahoo’s management into entering serious negotiations.
Earlier in April, Ballmer threatened to start a proxy fight to oust Yahoo’s board if the two companies did not reach a negotiated deal by April 26. The deadline passed without an agreement or substantive negotiations between the companies. Analysts maintain that if Microsoft abandons its bid, Yahoo’s share price could be expected to drop substantially. This would not preclude Microsoft from trying to reach a negotiated merger agreement with Yahoo at a later date.
Yahoo’s chief executive, Jerry Yang, has said his board is not opposed to a sale to Microsoft at a higher price.