Yahoo was hit with a one-two punch Monday--first a right jab from Carl Icahn, which is calling for the removal of Yahoo's entire board, and then a left hook from Microsoft, which confirmed its support for Icahn's proxy fight and said it's interested in negotiating a deal with a "new" Yahoo board.
Microsoft, in its public statement, said it could see the value in a potential Yahoo deal, to either purchase the 'search' function with large financial guarantees, or alternatively, purchase the whole company--a been there, done that attempt with Yahoo's existing board.
Yahoo counterpunched later Monday morning, issuing a statement (given here in its entirety) expressing its interest in talking to Microsoft about a buyout of the entire company, if only someone would make an actual offer, and the right kind of offer:
Yahoo!'s Board of Directors continues to stand ready to enter into negotiations with Microsoft Corporation for an acquisition of Yahoo!. Indeed, as recently as June, Yahoo!'s independent directors and management approached Steve Ballmer about just such a transaction, only to be told that Microsoft was no longer interested even in the price range which they had previously proposed. Now Mr. Ballmer and Mr. Icahn have teamed up in an apparent effort to force Yahoo! into selling to Microsoft its Search business at a price to be determined in a future "negotiation" between Mr. Icahn's directors and Microsoft's management. We feel very strongly that this would not lead to an outcome that would be in the best interests of Yahoo!'s stockholders. If Microsoft and Mr. Ballmer really want to purchase Yahoo!, we again invite them to make a proposal immediately. And if Mr. Icahn has an actual plan for Yahoo! beyond hoping that Microsoft might actually consummate a deal which they have repeatedly walked away from, we would be very interested in hearing it.