Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Cap Research's Gordon Crawford Speaks about Yahoo!

SAI picked up the comments of Gordie Crawford from Cap Research which were reported in the Journal and the Times earlier today - the #1 Yahoo! stockholder owning a 16% stake.

I've chatted with many institutional holders in Yahoo! for 18 months now about changes which should be made at the company. Institutional holders are always very polite, they hold deep convictions about their investments, and are privately supportive of anyone's efforts to create value for their investments. However, they are never public. They prefer to communicate their views to the management teams and boards of their investments in private.

These comments are a stinging rebuke of Yahoo!'s board and their bungled management of this Microsoft negotiation.

Here are the comments from the Journal and then the Times:

"I'm extremely disappointed in Jerry Yang," said Gordon Crawford, a portfolio manager at Capital Research Global Investors, which owns over 6% of Yahoo's shares. "I think he overplayed a weak hand. And I'm even more disappointed in the independent directors who were not responsive to the needs of independent shareholders."

It's evident that most shareholders would have been perfectly happy with a transaction in the $34 range," said Mr. Crawford. The concern owned over 16% of Yahoo's shares according to the latest available regulatory filings, making it Yahoo's largest shareholder.


“I am extremely angry at Jerry Yang and at the so-called independent board,” said Gordon Crawford, portfolio manager for Capital Research Global Investors...

Mr. Crawford questioned a statement from Mr. Bostock in which he said the company was pleased that so many shareholders had supported its position.

“I would love to know who these shareholders are,” Mr. Crawford said. “It’s none of the ones that I talked to today. Everybody I talked to would have sold their stock at $34.”

“I’m hoping that there is such an outpouring of outrage that the board is embarrassed into revisiting this thing,” Mr. Crawford added, “but I’m not optimistic about that.”

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