Sunday, February 10, 2008

Yahoo! Shareholders In Favor of Selling

Yahoo! is a great company and brand. Last year, when our grassroots shareholder group was formed, we advocated rapid action to turn around the company so that it could stay strong and independent. Although some changes have taken place, including installing Jerry Yang as CEO last June, there have not been enough. As Wall Street lost confidence in the company based on the results and a lack of strategic direction, the stock price drooped below $20. Microsoft has now made a $31 offer for the company. Yahoo!'s board has deliberated and rejected the offer as "massively" under-valuing the company. It thinks the company is better off going it alone versus taking the offer -- even if there is a possibility the stock price craters to $17 or less.

We believe that the Yahoo! board does not have the moral authority to represent our views as shareholders in discussions with Microsoft or any other company who wants to buy Yahoo! At last June's annual meeting, all the Yahoo! directors received a historically significant number of "against" votes from shareholders. The current Yahoo! Chairman received 36% of the votes cast against his re-election to the board. Yet, with the exception of Terry Semel, Yahoo!'s directors are all still serving on the board.

We believe we can do a better job representing our own interests as Yahoo! shareholders, rather than putting our faith in the current Yahoo! board. We have no desire to see Yahoo! continue independently with the current board and management team in place. We believe that is a recipe for a $17 stock price.

Therefore, we will band together as a group and agree to sell our Yahoo! shares to the highest bidder. There is currently an offer on the table from Microsoft for $29 (at Microsoft's current valuation). We view that as a floor bid. We will tender our shares to Microsoft or any other bidder (e.g., AT&T, NBC, News Corp., Comcast, etc.) who makes a better offer than this.

If we remain isolated, disenfranchised shareholders (whether we an individual owning 1 share or we are a large institutional investor owning thousands of shares), we are powerless to control how Yahoo!'s board acts in getting the best possible outcome for us. If we band together, we can control our own destiny.

If you agree, pledge below to add your Yahoo! shares that you own to this "Yahoo! Plan B" Group in order for us to negotiate the highest possible price for our Yahoo! shares. This is an informal pledge (we're not making you sign legal documents), but you should represent that you truly own the Yahoo! shares you say you do and be willing to be contacted to verify this. I or someone else from the "Yahoo! Plan B" Group will contact you later about the best possible price we are able to negotiate from a buyer.

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Unknown said...

If you and the shareholders that you represent feel that strongly about selling yahoo to MS then why don't you sell all 2.1 million shares at the current market price which is around ~$29. Instead of demanding that yahoo sell itself to MS.

even if this deal somehow comes to fruition and a proxy vote is avoided there are anti-trust laws that need to be overcome. if it goes to court the feds will strike down the deal because it wouldn't benefit the consumer in anyway and MS will once again have a monopoly over how the consumers use the internet.

Furthermore, there is a lot of redundancy between MSN and yahoo meaning that MS will basically run yahoo into the ground by eliminating unnecessary divisions. So in essence MS will have eliminated yahoo as a competitor and will have shafted investors and internet users (the consumer). Keep in mind that a sale to MS will severely jeopardize ~12,000 jobs and their livelihoods.

Some companies would jump at the opportunity to sell themselves to the highest bidder. While others, who care deeply and passionately about their businesses refuse to "sell-out".

The question that should be asked is can yahoo survive on its own without the merger? And the answer is yes it can.

akr said...

Please sell yahoo to MS.


Anonymous said...

According to , Yahoo employed only 600 workers in 1998.

Nine and a half years later, the number grew to 14,300. [ ]

Isn't 14,300 workers simply too high for what Yahoo does today?

Yahoo is basically just a publisher of content made by others. News, music, videos come from third parties. Does it take 14,300 workers just to publish other people's content?

If MS does buy Yahoo, It'll be definitely interesting to see how Microsoft manages Yahoo properties. It will be a good opportunity for MS to show its management techniques and technologies.

Jdragon said...

Want to buy my shares for $50? You guys are suckers if you're going to sellout on the cheap! Plus microsoft sucks and they will ruin the Net as we know it. I use Yahoo! finance daily and if it becomes MSN Finance, I'll go and use Google Finance instead!

Ryoga said...

I don't want to see a 3rd party owned Yahoo!, Yahoo has always been Yahoo and was there a lot of time before MSN was created, as it has been said, if you want to sell at this price then sell to anyone else, obviously you are trying to get some kind of benefit from this, maybe microsoft contacted you and promised you something.

Anonymous said...

So, rather than taking your shares to the common market, you'd prefer to sellout to a company KNOWN for their nefarious and questionable tactics to get what they want? You're morons, the lot of you, very WEALTHY morons!

Microsoft's attempt to buyout Yahoo is NOT in Yahoo's best interests, OR the best interests of the Internet as a whole. If all you care about is money, then why did you buy Yahoo stock in the first place, instead of Microsoft stock? The world would be a much happier place if you had aimed your greed at a company that shares your desires.

Here's a newsflash for you! If Microsoft achieves its ambition of buying Yahoo! you can bet that it will be the end of the Yahoo brand, which has meant so much to the growth of the web. I, for one, pray that you are unsuccessful in your attempts to undermine the decision of the board.

Brian W said...

Some solution: sellout to the monopolist when the water gets choppy. If you wanted Microsoft so much, why didn't you buy MS stock instead of Yahoo stock? Do you really think MS is going to be some kind of white knight who's going to turn Yahoo into the Second Coming? If you do, then you don't know a thing about Microsoft! Remember Netscape? How about all those other little companies MS gulped down? Microsoft is going to do with Yahoo what it has done with every other acquisition: pillage it for everything it wants, then leave an empty shell behind. Microsoft wants Yahoo's search engine technology and clientele. Period. Yahoo Mail? Gone. Flickr? Gone. Yahoo News? Gone. Yahoo Messenger? Gone. But you people don't care. You just want to sell out to the monopolist. Just goes to show you: Just because someone has money doesn't mean they have sense (cents).

Brian W said...

All the freaking education, Jackson... and you're still stupid. Just like every other Yahoo shareholder SELLING OUT.

Jdragon said...

2.1 million shares and you can't even buy common sense. I'm disgusted with all you guys that want to sellout to Microsoft. I'm actually going to buy more shares now and vote against you idiots!

ModernPhilosopher said...

Isn't 14,300 workers simply too high for what Yahoo does today?

For a company valued at 40 billion dollars, i think 14,300 workers are rather small. Its not all pusblishing other people's content, yahoo has several good services: Search, Finance, Games, Personals...

rdodger2008 said...

I just don't seem to be able to stop myself from saying this.

My information strongly suggests that if Yahoo is taken over by Microsoft, it will be the end of free email and free chat.

If you support free chat and email, support yahoo.

If you don't think you should be able to use chat and email unless you have significant resources, support Microsoft.

Microsoft is a great company, and I think it's great someone has a OS you can sell for 200 dollars, but I don't have any information at this time that free email and chat significantly degrade my quality of life.

I should maybe clarify that I have given yahoo 20 dollars so far, and so for me technically yahoo services are no longer free.

But they would be if they hadn't.

Just felt like I had to say.

I think yahoo mail is really, really neat, and I don't see the point of having a hotmail account that vaporizes itself if you get hit with a rock or something and can't log in for a month.

Jdragon said...

Well, if Microsoft takes over, they'll kill the "free" version of Yahoo! Mail and IM. This actually benefits Gmail/GoogleTalk as we'll see a mass exodus. Let's face it, Microsoft will kill off Yahoo! via acquisition. It would be truly sad to see one of the internet's pioneers go away (i.e. Netscape).

s said...

sad that yahoo has such moron shareholders :(
so what is the offer on your table?

Unknown said...

I've never spoken with Microsoft and have no arrangement with them.

BlueNation said...

You people are quick to kill MSFT. I've always had free email and free chat with MSFT svcs so I don't know where the scare tactics are coming from. I'm not pro or con MSFT. I'm a businessman who is in the software business and Yahoo has had their chance to turn things around and have not. They were heading south fast before MSFT made an offer. I agree with Eric Jackson. The board should be looking out for the shareholders and are not. MSFT, whether it be bad or good, has always invested $$ in R&D on their products, more so than any other software company. It can only benefit Yahoo at this point. I suspect the deal will consummate around $36/sh.

Unknown said...

Yahoo is horrible. How long does it take for them to get their act together. Search Results are still lacking. I say sell to MSFT and they will make the company a winner.

Ryoga said...

My point of view that Microsoft is not going to make Yahoo services pay services, they will just disappear them as those services are totally redundant Hotmail/Yahoo mail, Windows Messenger/Yahoo Messenger and if they code Yahoo services like they have coded the latest windows live/MSN services then Yahoo is lost, The "new" windows live mail SUCKS you can't even tell the thing how much mails you want displayed on a page, you can't turn on the option to see full headers in mail, and the "classic hotmail" is not a classic hotmail view just a stripped down version of their new shit. Their search engine is so stupid that it doesn't recognize foreign characters so if you look for "puño" (spanish word for fist) it will look for "puno" (not even a word). The most funny thing is they showed me how bad was their search engine it was with an ad in which you clicked a guy in different parts of his body and then a search query would be triggered, so if you clicked in his fist you would get "puno" for a company the size of microsoft just shows how badly everything is made and that everything they touch becomes shit.

Unknown said...

I will sell my shares for $50...if MSFT wants to kill Yahoo! $50 it is...

Unknown said...

How many employees does it take Yahoo what it does? Well, it does better than Microsoft with far less, better in terms of product. Microsoft has one consistent history of and thatis destroying anything that others can use.

It doesn't matter what people think because there are many things going on such as everybody thinks Yahoo is a kid that knows nothing about business and Wall Street and nobody bothered to check the members of Yahoo's board: Chairman Ronald Burkle is no kid, a savy majority owner of The Yucaipa Companies(Independent Oil & Gas basic materials) Is Burkle who has for some time been negotiating with Also Murdoch of News Media.
WATCH:Microsoft new CFO C. Liddell blow all of Microsoft nest egg and be sold apart this is what Mr. Liddell is good at.
It will be good for your shareholder for a year or so then sell ,
...but then again that is what you care about is't it...the money and the shareholders that win not the losers not the employees nor the cities that have to deal with the unemployed and the ripples it produces in the community.
You are good at what you do we can see that ..Scheaming