Yahoo, afloat after the abrupt sacking of CEO Carol Bartz, has received inquiries from multiple parties interested in a number of potential options, remaining top managers told employees.
The No. 2 search engine has hired Allen & Co. to provide advice to the beleaguered board of directors. Co-founders Jerry Yang and David Filo and Chairman Roy Bostock circulated a memo to employees of the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company.
Our advisers are working with us to develop ideas that we will pursue proactively, the internal memo said. However, Yahoo hasn't made any decisions and the management trio said, We will take the time we need to select and structure the best approach.
Since Bartz's firing on Sept. 5, speculation has centered on major media companies or private equity giants such as Silver Lake Partners or Providence Equity Partners to make a bid for all or parts of the company. None of the parties has confirmed any interest. Another suggested option is that Facebook might acquire Yahoo, which would allow it to becoma a public company.
Yahoo shares have gained about 15 percent this month, valuing the company around $18.6 billion, with enterprise value of $16.1 billion, the number evaluated by any investor.
Last week, Silver Lake Partners and DST Global mounted a $1.6 billon tender offer for shares in China's Alibaba Group, an e-commerce player. Yahoo owns about 40 percent of Alibaba.
Last year, CEO Bartz alienated Alibaba chairman Jack Ma over a payment-sharing scheme. So the Silver Lake-DST Global bid could be a signal of future interest in Yahoo.
The Yahoo internal letter commented on the Alibaba bid favorably, noting, it reflects a continued appreciation in its value, and therefore of the value of our stake.
Yahoo also owns about 35 percent of Yahoo Japan, a legacy of the period in which Japan's SoftBank was a strategic investor in the company.
Meanwhile, the trio urged the company's 13,600 employees to be calm and be patient as management is forging a path to the next phase of growth for Yahoo that feels like our best days.