Microsoft Said to Meet With Possible Yahoo Bidders Seeking Funds

  • Software maker unlikely to offer more than token investment
  • Microsoft hasn't committed to any investment, person says

Microsoft Corp. met with possible bidders for Yahoo! Inc. such as Verizon Communications Inc. and private equity firms, who may seek backing from the software maker for their offers, said a person familiar with the meetings.

The meetings were initiated by the bidders, and Microsoft has not committed any funding, said the person who wanted to be anonymous because the meetings were private. Additionally the company is unlikely to provide anything more than a token investment to anyone, said the person.

Yahoo Last month said it hired financial advisers and told independent board members to explore its strategic options, taking steps to transform itself and consider deals amid rising pressure from investors. Companies such as Verizon, Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc. are among those interested in acquiring Yahoo’s core business, while Bain Capital Partners, KKR & Co. and TPG Capital are among the buyout firms that have shown interest, people familiar with the matter have said.

Microsoft, which has a search partnership with Yahoo, told bidders it is eager to continue working with the company whoever owns it, the person said. Microsoft told the various bidders it was willing to hear their ideas as they continue to consider bids.

Microsoft has previously provided $2 billion in financing for Silver Lake Management LLC and Michael Dell’s takeover of Dell Inc. but will not do anything of that scope here, the person said.

A Microsoft spokesman, Frank Shaw, declined to comment.

ReCode previously reported the meetings.

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YHOO US (Yahoo! Inc.)

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