Thursday, October 20, 2011

Yahoo "cross talk" ban jolts bidders

(Reuters) - Some potential buyers of Yahoo Inc are balking at the Internet company's demands for confidentiality that would prevent them from discussing joint bids, according to several people close to the situation.

Yahoo advisers Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co informed interested parties this week of a "no cross talk" provision, part of a non-disclosure agreement that must be signed to gain access to Yahoo's sensitive financial data, the sources said.

The provision has irked several potential buyers, including private equity firms that had planned to jointly bid for Yahoo.

They have refused to sign the nondisclosure agreement, and one source went so far as to call the provision a deal-breaker.

With a market value of about $20 billion, Yahoo is likely too big for any one party to swallow, with the exception of possibly Microsoft Corp.

But even Microsoft is considering a team bid, the Wall Street Journal said. It reported in its Deal Journal that Microsoft was working with Silver Lake Partners and the Canada Pension Plan Investment board on a proposal.

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