So let’s see: First Microsoft offers $31 a share to buy Yahoo.
Yahoo scoffs and says nothing less than $40.
Long and winding road of leaks, bluster, stonewalling, threats, interminable blah blah blah in the press.
Today, Microsoft hints in the Journal that it might go to $32 or $33. Meanwhile, Yahoo’s board looks willing to come down to the high 30s, and some big Yahoo shareholders have suggested $35 might do it.
As Henry Blodget notes, that’s a mere $4 apart, more or less. That gap may still be a little too much for Yahoo CEO and cofounder Jerry Yang to bear. But the implied middle ground has to look more attractive to his shareholders, at least some of whom certainly will pressure the board anew to do the deal. And none of this rules out Microsoft upping the ante with a proxy fight or even taking a temporary hike. But it’s apparent Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer prefers not to go more hostile than he has already if he doesn’t have to.
I hesitate to predict this deal finally will get done, since it has taken fully three months just to get a hint that it could finally happen. So I’ll just refer Steve and Jerry to some words of wisdom (mildly bad words, I’ll warn the easily offended) from this commenter today on Yahoo’s own Tech Ticker:
Weird. One side wants to offer 33 / the other will take 35. Where should we go with this. I just can’t get my arms around it. Me don’t know. Let’s call in Mr. Copernicus: (Among the great polymaths of the Renaissance, Copernicus was a mathematician, astronomer, physician, classical scholar, translator, Catholic cleric, jurist, governor, military leader, diplomat and economist.) Copernicus: What do you think? Copernicus: “Go with F’n 34 you giant A’holes.”