Google, PE firms mull bid for Yahoo: WSJ

Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:35pm EDT

People ride their bikes past Google Inc. headquarters in Mountain View, California, May 8, 2008.     REUTERS/Kimberly White

People ride their bikes past Google Inc. headquarters in Mountain View, California, May 8, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Kimberly White

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(Reuters) - Google Inc has spoken to at least two private equity firms about possibly helping them finance a deal to buy Yahoo Inc's core business, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Google and prospective partners have held preliminary discussions but have not come up with a formal proposal, and Google may end up deciding not to pursue a bid, the source said.

It is not clear which private equity firms Google has spoken to, the WSJ said.

Representatives of Google could not immediately be reached for comment.

Any potential deal between the two biggest Internet companies would likely arouse antitrust scrutiny.

Google is interested in selling some advertising across Yahoo's websites, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Microsoft Corp is now considering financing part of a bid for Yahoo by a private equity firm, people familiar with the matter have said.

Yahoo has been in a state of chaos since it fired former CEO Carol Bartz in early September. The company retained investment banking firm Allen & Co to help conduct a "strategic review" of its business and is reportedly working with executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to find a new CEO.

A number of potential buyers have expressed interest in a deal with Yahoo. Private equity firms Silver Lake Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Bain Capital, Hellman & Friedman, Blackstone Group, and KKR are among those likely to get a look at the limited financial data Yahoo's advisers are circulating.

(Reporting by Matthew Lewis in Chicago; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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Comments (3)
SanPa wrote:
I like Yahoo as is. I’m pretty certain that its core users are satisfied with what it is and offers as well. The group most discontent with Yahoo are its Wall Street masters, who felt they missed the big fish when MSFT was will to overpay for the company. I would prefer that Wall Street focus on the underperformance of Golden Sacks and Bankrupt of America.

Oct 22, 2011 4:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
KyleAtMIT wrote:
Bad move for Google! Yahoo is a dead scene. Keep clobbering them and taking their users. Yahoo is sooo last century!

Oct 22, 2011 5:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
user8192 wrote:
I should hope not. Of the free and low-cost email providers, Yahoo’s Mail Plus service runs circles around Google’s Gmail. If Google acquires Yahoo!, it’s a sure bet they’ll kill Yahoo! Mail. Gmail has been broken since its debut, and six years later the broken features still haven’t been fixed.

Oct 23, 2011 9:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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