Yahoo has moved the deadline for its bids out another week to April 18, according to sources close to the situation and the blabby bankers they talk to.
The process to sell Yahoo has been churning on as a variety of potential acquirers and just plain rubberneckers get briefed by management, either by video, phone or in person (only the chosen strategic ones like Verizon and AT&T get that royal treatment).
Sources said CEO Marissa Mayer — who has been joined in meetings by her dealmaking shadow Ian Weingarten, legal dude Ron Bell, increasingly grumpy CFO Ken Goldman and always sunny SVP Jeff Bonforte — seems upbeat and is touting her turnaround — downplaying the poor projections that the company confirmed to investors in its sale "book."
We'll see who bids — and, more to the point, who gets passed through to the next round. It's a little like the Hunger Games, except you get to live and then have to rehaul the Silicon Valley Internet giant. Right now among bidders, there is a lot of kvetching about the weakness of Yahoo's core business, mulling because it is still full of tasty assets like the video and ad tech and posturing over level of interest.
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And, of course, a subtle and not-so-subtle looking around to partner up on an offer. So, expect links between media companies and private equity firms, as well as between PE players. And expect even more obfuscation and confusion, which is always part of any less-than-airtight sales process.
In other words, a ton of effort by Yahoo bankers to gin up interest and make all the bidders insecure by sending out trial balloons that certain big players are going for it.
Hey, over there, Google is sure interested (the truth is, its M&A unit crunched the numbers as they should, but an offer is highly unlikely)!
Wait, SoftBank is swooping in (it is, but only to try to renegotiate fee payments with Yahoo it thinks are onerous).
Uh-oh, AT&T is lukewarm (okay, this one is true).
And, frontrunner Verizon will bid (this is not news, because they have said publicly at least 53 times that they will).
And now Yahoo has gifted us with another week of speculation — may the odds be ever in our favor that this can only go on for a few months more.