The Wall Street Journal thinks that Microsoft is about to break the deafening silence that has hung in the air since Yahoo ignored Microsoft’s Saturday deadline to deal or be acquired by force at a lower price.
It thinks it could nominate a proxy slate of director to replace Yahoo’s board but hold off on going directly to Yahoo’s shareholders and say nothing about the price, a move that could let its shares recover from their 12% decline since Microsoft went public with its Yahoo lust.
At least that approach was under consideration, it heard. The paper said it could change.
There have been no formal negotiations between the two companies since Microsoft issued its ultimatum three weeks ago and the New York Times says Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith told a conference in Redmond that no meetings were scheduled.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said last Wednesday that Microsoft could simply walk away and Thursday CFO Chris Liddell reiterated Ballmer’s premise that Microsoft’s offer was more than fair.
Yahoo of course wants more than $31 a share, and as simply everyone has observed by now Microsoft’s half stock, half cash offer ain’t what it was when Microsoft made it.
Microsoft has to remove the Yahoo board to crush its poison pill defense and would need to float its slate of directors 10 days after Yahoo sets the date for its annual meeting, which has to be held by July.
Meanwhile, the Journal reports, citing a shareholder suit against Yahoo for ignoring Microsoft’s bid that Microsoft told Yahoo it would spend $1.5 billion on retaining Yahoo’s people.