Media News

Microsoft move unlikely to win Icahn favor: source

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp’s proposal of an alternative deal with Yahoo Inc, rather than a full acquisition, is unlikely to win favor with Carl Icahn, the financier who has launched a proxy battle to force Yahoo to reopen talks with Microsoft, a person familiar with the financier’s thinking said on Sunday.

In fact, such a move is likely to prompt the billionaire investor to press Yahoo to further pursue a possible alliance with Google, the source said.

“Microsoft is trying to get the milk without buying the cow, and if you look at Icahn’s history, he has never been used that way,” said this person. “He does not want to see Yahoo pushed into some joint venture with Microsoft and is not going to be used to push Yahoo into it.”

“The best thing for Yahoo shareholders is for Microsoft to buy Yahoo,” said this person. “If not, Icahn would ally with Yahoo in doing a deal with Google over Microsoft.”

Icahn has accumulated a stake of 9 million shares and options on another 49 million shares.

Microsoft offered to buy Yahoo for $31 a share in February but was rebuffed. It later increased that to $33 but was rebuffed again and walked away earlier this month.

Earlier on Sunday, it proposed an alternative deal to Yahoo rather than a full acquisition.

Additional reporting by Megan Davies; Editing by Anshuman Daga