SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc’s board believes Microsoft Corp’s unsolicited bid of $44.6 billion to acquire Yahoo “massively undervalues” the company and directors are set to reject the offer, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing an unnamed source.
Microsoft’s $31 per share offer fails to take account of the risks that a merger between the world’s largest software maker and Web media giant would be rejected by regulators, the paper reported, citing “a person familiar with the situation.”
The Journal quoted the unnamed source as saying Microsoft’s offer amounted to an attempt to “steal” the company and that Yahoo is unlikely to consider any offer under $40 per share.
A spokeswoman for Yahoo, a diversified Internet media company, declined to comment on the proceedings of the company’s board of directors. A Microsoft spokesman was not immediately available.
If completed, a merger of Microsoft and Yahoo would represent the largest-ever merger of two computer technology companies.
In a series of meetings over the past week, Yahoo’s board has been weighing what alternatives the company may have to accepting Microsoft’s offer, which, when it was first announced a week ago offered a 62 percent premium to Yahoo’s stock price.
Yahoo has considered an alternate tie-up with Web search leader Google Inc to maintain its independence. Should it pursue the Microsoft offer, it has been widely expected to seek a higher price than the current cash and stock offer.
The newspaper’s online site said Yahoo’s board plans to send a letter to Microsoft that spells out reasons for rejecting the bid.
Reporting by Eric Auchard and Anupreeta Das in San Francisco, Megan Davies in New York and Daisuke Wakabayashi in Seattle, editing by Vicki Allen