Icahn to Yahoo!: It's On, Baby

Welcome once more to our continuing saga: As the Yahoo! Board Turns: Breakfast Edition.

When last we left our hero, Carl Icahn was threatening to field a full slate of 10 director-nominees to oust the current board members at Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) and then proceed to unite Yahoo! with unrequited lover Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) . Well, he went through with his threat.

On Thursday, Icahn filed his proxy slate with the SEC and initiated the not-long-awaited battle for control of the hobbled Internet giant. In a letter appended to his list of nominees, Icahn called the board's rejection of Microsoft's bid "irresponsible" and argued that only a merged Microhoo "would be a force strong enough to compete with [Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) ] on the Internet."

My active imagination detected a murmur that sounded something like "Oh, really? Just wait." It wafted over the waves from Baidu.com (Nasdaq: BIDU  ) . Then a few seconds later, AOL muttered, "Yep, too true."

Yahoo! to Icahn: Bug off!
Better sit down for this. You'll no doubt be stunned to learn that Yahoo!'s board disagrees with Icahn's assessment of things. In a letter so long that I can't help thinking it's been sitting in a drawer for a few days, just waiting for someone to post it, Yahoo! informed Icahn that he was suffering from a "significant misunderstanding" of the situation. Board Chairman Roy Bostock explained, in summary:

  • That Bostock and his board members epitomize all of the saintly qualities of wisdom, patience, and virtue that a shareholder could ever desire in their fiduciaries.
  • That elections are highly overrated.
  • Oh, and that Yahoo! is worth 37 bucks and not a penny less.

Berkshire beat
While we're discussing financial titans, you may be interested to learn that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway made its latest disclosure of its shareholdings yesterday. Berkshire has sold off its stake in Ameriprise and cut its interest in Iron Mountain and has continued to load up on Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT  ) , UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) , and WellPoint (NYSE: WLP  ) . So here's at least one guy who doesn't seem to think a Democratic presidential victory in November will kill the insurance biz. And Buffett's shop also added to its investment in Wells Fargo -- a suggestion, perhaps, that we've dodged the financial apocalypse as well.

Kraft is an Income Investor recommendation. Berkshire Hathaway is a recommendation of Stock Advisor and Inside Value. UnitedHealth is also an Inside Value pick, as is Microsoft. Baidu is a Rule Breakers recommendation. Try any of our market-beating newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Smith has never started a war, proxy or otherwise. He does, however, own UnitedHealth stock. The Motley Fool is a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder and has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (8)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 646620, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/23/2014 6:38:37 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement