Microsoft (MSFT) released a statement on Sunday that it has made an alternative offer to Yahoo (YHOO) that wouldn't entail a full acquisition. In the unexpected move, Microsoft would be acting as something of a white knight, saving Yahoo from fighting a proxy battle with billionaire investor Carl Icahn.
Microsoft Corp. today issued the following statement:
“In light of developments since the withdrawal of the Microsoft proposal to acquire Yahoo! Inc., Microsoft announced that it is continuing to explore and pursue its alternatives to improve and expand its online services and advertising business. Microsoft is considering and has raised with Yahoo! an alternative that would involve a transaction with Yahoo! but not an acquisition of all of Yahoo! Microsoft is not proposing to make a new bid to acquire all of Yahoo! at this time, but reserves the right to reconsider that alternative depending on future developments and discussions that may take place with Yahoo! or discussions with shareholders of Yahoo! or Microsoft or with other third parties.
“There of course can be no assurance that any transaction will result from these discussions.”
Although Microsoft isn't making a new bid to buy Yahoo, the Redmond giant "reserves the right to reconsider that alternative" depending on discussions with Yahoo, shareholders of Yahoo or Microsoft, or other third parties.
Icahn on Thursday named an alternative board to replace Yahoo's board with directors to reopen talks with Microsoft. In inimitable Icahn style, he claimed Yahoo had "acted irrationally" in refusing Microsoft's $47.5 billion (24.3 billion pound) bid.
Reuters reported that Microsoft had not held discussions with Icahn about Yahoo.
The exact nature of the deal has not been revealed by either party.