It would seem that once more, Yahoo is looking for buyers and just like last time, Microsoft has come knocking as one of several interested suitors, but they’re not alone. Along with the Redmond company, interest in acquiring Yahoo has also been shown by several private equity firms including Silver Lake Partners, KKR and TPG Capital, the three of which would like to purchase an initial 20% stake in the search engine with a long term goal of becoming a majority stakeholder.
In the case of Microsoft, the Reuters news organization is reporting that Microsoft has taken the step of signing confidentiality agreements that will allow the company to review Yahoo’s financial statements. You may remember that it was three years ago, in 2008, when Microsoft first sought to acquire a stake in Yahoo. At that time, Microsoft had made an offer of $33/share which worked out to $45 billion. Fast forward to 2011 and Yahoo’s stock price is now around $15. When Steve Ballmer was questioned about his company’s inability to purchase Yahoo back in 2008, his comments were “Sometimes you’re lucky.”
It’s not clear at this time if Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo in its entirety or just a stake in the company, but the reason for the acquisition has to do with the fact that Yahoo is still the number 2 search engine on the Internet and this property would allow Microsoft to build its ad revenue as well as leverage its Bing search results.