Reluctantly, Yahoo Is Listening as Possible Buyers Are Lining Up

There is interest from a number of groups in taking over Yahoo

By on September 15th, 2011 10:21 GMT

Yahoo is still in turmoil after ousting CEO Carol Bartz. The company has been in trouble for years, but the move opened up the question of its future once again. While the board is putting together a list of options, it has tried to downplay the possibility of a sale.

The board is looking at other alternatives to unlock some of Yahoo's potential and start driving up revenue again.

But that hasn't stopped a number of groups from approaching Yahoo and looking to buy the company or parts of it.

And, despite its seeming reluctance, the board is hearing everyone out.

According to All Things D, the list of companies and investors interested in Yahoo or a piece of it is quite long, though it's mostly the usual suspects, large venture capital or equity funds, the perennial candidate AOL, and even Alibaba, the Chinese company in which Yahoo owns a large stake.

The high-profile venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is said to be working with private equity firm Silver Lake for a possible bid for Yahoo. Russia's DST Global, who has made a string of investments in Silicon Valley's who's who, Facebook, Zynga, Twitter etc., but also SoftBank, which jointly-owns Yahoo Japan.

Also possibly interested is former News Corp. exec Peter Chernin, backed by Providence Equity Partner, All Things D informs. Finally, Alibaba may also be looking to take over Yahoo.

The latter option is one of the most interesting. Yahoo owns a large stake in Alibaba, which it got in return for Yahoo's Chinese properties. Alibaba's founder and CEO hasn't been a big fan of Carol Bartz and sees Yahoo as a burden more than anything else.

At the same time, Yahoo's current market cap, of over $18 billion, is largely made up of its two big chunks in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan. The fate of these two investments is going to be crucial in any future plan Yahoo may have, be it a sale or a partnership.

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