Who Are The Potential Buyers Of Yahoo?
Comcast, IAC and AT&T mentioned among list of possible suitors.
Yahoo’s board is meeting to discuss the fate of the company’s remaining Alibaba stake, as well as whether the company itself should be sold. Round one of media reports took up the potential sale of the business; round two is: Who might buy Yahoo?
An article in the Wall Street Journal speculates on that second question, based on discussions with “people familiar with the matter.” It would appear there is no shortage of potential buyers. That makes sense, given that Yahoo is one of the few “brands” on the internet and has the third-largest audience, behind Google and Facebook.
Below is the list of companies cited in the article; some of these are extremely speculative:
- IAC/InterActive Corp.
- News Corp
- Private-equity firm TPG Capital
- Walt Disney
It’s also possible that pieces of Yahoo could be sold, if not the entire company. Yet the board could decide that it’s in the best interests of the company and shareholders to remain independent.
If Verizon were to buy Yahoo, it would, ironically, realize earlier the AOL-Yahoo merger vision of some of Yahoo’s institutional investors. That’s probably less likely now, however. Some of what Yahoo does and offers would now be redundant for Verizon, given AOL.
Comcast is a strong candidate. Yahoo would extend the company’s assets and distribution into digital and mobile in ways not present today. A similar rationale (although to a lesser degree) might apply to AT&T.
In terms of preserving the current state of affairs and operations, IAC might represent the best home. However, IAC has badly mismanaged some of its internet properties in the past.
I’ve also seen speculation that Amazon could bid for Yahoo. That would be very interesting and would insert the company much more directly and forcefully into digital marketing and media.
It’s also possible that Alibaba could try to buy Yahoo. That would give the Chinese company a strong foothold in the US and other Western markets, which it currently does not have.