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.
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.