Blog Post

Icahn: No MSFT-YHOO Search Deal — For Now; Opposes Sale To Miller

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Activist investor and Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) director Carl Icahn is throwing more cold water on speculation that the company is about to sell its search business to Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT). While he would like to see Microsoft take the search off Yahoo’s hands, MarketWatch quotes Icahn as saying there’s nothing imminent now and he knows of no discussions between the two companies. Shares of Yahoo were down over 1 percent to $11.35 in after hours trading. Last week, Icahn added nearly 7 million shares to his holdings in Yahoo — for a to 75.6 million shares — for the relatively low price of $67 million. He muscled his way onto Yahoo’s board back in July, after acquiring a 5 percent stake in the company.

Not a good time to sell: Asked about a report that Jon Miller, former AOL (NYSE: TWX) CEO and co-founder of VC firm Velocity, could be trying to raise money in a bid to buy Yahoo, Icahn indicated that now is not the right time, Reuters reported, citing his appearance on CNBC. Icahn said that Yahoo’s stock is “very undervalued” and a sale wouldn’t appeal to a large shareholder, such as himself. While the board would give a hearing to any large offer, he is disinterested in a sale right now and said he told Miller as much in a phone conversation this weekend. Miller has met with the Yahoo board within the past few weeks as a potential candidate for the CEO position being vacated by Jerry Yang. He was almost chosen to serve on Yahoo’s board with Icahn’s backing this summer, but was forced to remove himself from consideration due to a non-compete clause in his contract with AOL/Time Warner.