Yahoo Shortlists Cash Bids For Asset Sale

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Search company Yahoo has shortlisted nearly 10 bidders, including Verizon

Search company Yahoo has shortlisted nearly 10 bidders as it seeks to sell off its core assets, including large companies such as Verizon and equity capital firm TPG Capital, with most offers being cash bids, according to a report.

The shortlisted companies are mainly large organisations looking to carry out the transaction on their own, rather than the smaller companies that had proposed alliances with other firms to fund a deal, according to a Reuters report citing unnamed sources.

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Shortlist

Yellow Pages owner YP was one of the smaller companies excluded from the list, according to the report’s sources, who declined to disclose the full list or exactly how many companies are on it.

Yahoo’s advisers are reportedly continuing to communicate with some of the companies who aren’t on the list, including Liberty Media chairman John Malone.

The deals currently being considered would see Yahoo selling its Internet assets and divesting its 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan, leaving it with a 15 percent stake in China’s Alibaba Group Holding. In December Yahoo decided against selling the Alibaba stake due to tax concerns.

Shareholder dispute settled

Last week Yahoo said it had settled a dispute with Jeffrey Smith, chief executive of activist hedge fund Starboard, that will see Smith and three of his appointees join the company’s board immediately.

The deal with Smith, who had previously proposed to remove Yahoo’s entire board, paves the way for Yahoo to continue with its asset sale and means he and his nominees are now amongst those evaluating bids.

Industry analysts have predicted Verizon is likely to win in Yahoo’s auction. Reuters’ report didn’t indicate whether The Daily Mail parent Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), which acknowledged last month it was in talks with several unnamed Yahoo bidders, was included in the shortlist.

Yahoo disclosed on Friday that chief executive Marissa Mayer is to be paid $54.8 million (£37m) in cash and stock if she is removed from her position within a year of a sale, a controversial figure since Yahoo’s financial position has continued to decline during Mayer’s tenure.

Yahoo declined to comment.

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