- AP/ Marcio Jose Sanchez
Though it’s up for sale, new information obtained by Fortune paints Yahoo as a company that doesn’t want to be sold and has few interested buyers.
Potential buyers have included SoftBank, General Atlantic, and The Daily Mail. But Fortune reports that no rumored buyer has signed a non-disclosure agreement yet, nor do any have concrete plans to submit offers for Yahoo.
Microsoft, another rumored buyer, is opting for a wait-and-see approach and would likely only support a bidder as a debt-financing partner, or to provide small strategic equity, Fortune’s Dan Primack and Erin Griffith report.
Verizon may be the only truly interested suitor, and it may be one of a handful of companies that make a serious bid before Monday’s first-round offer deadline.
But even if Yahoo receives bids, does Yahoo really want to be sold?
One likely bidder described Yahoo’s auction process to Fortune like this: “It’s been a f—ing joke.”
Moreover, most of the bidders haven’t been able to meet with Mayer and CFO Ken Goldman face to face. Comcast did, Fortune reports, but say many of their questions – like about projected Tumblr revenue – went unanswered.
Some have suggested that Mayer’s apparent lack of cooperation comes from a desire to keep Yahoo and rebel against those who want to sell, including activist investor Starboard Value LP.
One person told Fortune, “Management is dragging it out to make it as difficult as possible for Starboard. [Yahoo] will have made an effort and talked to all these buyers. They’ll say they ran this process for four months and no one was interested.”