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April 18, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 11:25am

Verizon reportedly in pole position in Yahoo auction

News: Several bidders have decided not to make an offer for the struggling web giant.

By CBR Staff Writer

Verizon Communications is reportedly leading the list of potential bidders for the struggling web giant Yahoo.

Time Inc, Google parent Alphabet, AT&T, IAC/InterActiveCorp and Comcast have decided to not to make offers for Yahoo.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported that ahead of a Monday deadline for preliminary bids, Verizon was among a handful of companies moving ahead with offers to acquire Yahoo or parts of it, compared with about 40 firms that had initially shown interest.

Advent International, Bain Capital, and TPG are among the buyout companies looking to make a bid.

Private-equity firm, KKR & Co., has also expressed interest, but there was no clarity on whether the company would place a bid on Monday.

A person familiar with the matter told the news agency that Britain’s Daily Mail and General Trust was still in negotiations with private-equity companies to become partners on a bid.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that Verizon and its AOL unit are working with at least three financial advisers on a Yahoo bid that would include its stake in Yahoo Japan.

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Verizon could give the Yahoo Japan stake to its shareholders or divest it. The company would replace Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer with AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and Marni Walden, who would run a combined Yahoo and AOL.

Mayer has been under pressure from activist shareholders who are unhappy with her leadership.

Activist investor Starboard Value said it was fed up with the company’s leadership and called for for a change in management.

Yahoo is exploring the sale of up to $3bn worth of patents, property and other non-core assets.

A committee created to identify alternatives to spin off its core business is looking at quick sales of assets.

More details on Yahoo’s bidding process could be unveiled in the company’s next quarterly earnings report, which is due to be unveiled tomorrow.

The company reported a $4.4bn loss, or $4.70 per share, for the fourth quarter ending 31 December 2015, compared to a net income of $166m, or $0.17 per share, for the same period in 2014.


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