Potential Buyers Circle Yahoo

Silver Lake, Microsoft, Alibaba Group all considering bid

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In the wake of Yahoo’s Carol Bartz fiasco, the fallen Internet giant has attracted the interest of a number of potential buyers, and its board has begun preparing for a sale, according to the New York Times.

One potential buyer is the private equity firm Silver Lake, which has already approached Yahoo about a possible bid, sources said. Silver Lake is working with Andreessen Horowitz and has been “quietly studying” a bid for the past six months, those sources said.

Other possible bidders named were Alibaba Group, Microsoft (whose 2008 bid for Yahoo was rejected), Providence Partners, and former News Corp. COO Peter Chernin, who also approached Yahoo earlier this year but was rebuffed.

Yahoo’s board, which hired investment bank Allen & Company to advise it on a sale, discussed Silver Lake’s interest during a meeting on Wednesday. The board also discussed what to do with Yahoo’s lucrative Asian assets (worth more than the rest of the company's operations combined) including its 40 percent stake in the Alibaba Group and 35 percent stake in Yahoo Japan. But the board still hasn’t decided whether to keep those assets, sell them, or spin them off.

UBS, which has already been advising Yahoo on its options for its stake in Alibaba, is also working with the company on its sale, and according to sources, Yahoo is considering hiring a third bank to help provide financing.

@adweekemma emma.bazilian@adweek.com Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.