Mithras Capital partner Mark Nelson is calling out to both companies, hoping to play Cupid at a $22 price point. At that price, Nelson argues, Microsoft can essentially buy Yahoo!'s search business for $10.3 billion, after cashing out of Yahoo!'s Asian stakes and non-search businesses (and extracting $3 billion in cost savings and $2.8 billion in tax benefits).
It's a fair argument, but why should Microsoft pay that much? When it offered $31 a share for Yahoo! back in January, Yahoo!'s Asian assets were worth roughly $10 a share, Yahoo! was more relevant in search than it is today, and the market hadn't crashed.
And are we so sure that Microsoft would want to bail on Yahoo!'s stakes in China's Alibaba, Yahoo! Japan, and South Korea's Gmarket
I do think a deal with Microsoft is possible. It certainly makes more sense than its subtraction by multiplication potential pairing with Time Warner's
Yahoo! blew its shot at a sweet exit strategy. Now it can only hope for a bittersweet way out.
Read more about Yahoo!'s real worth:
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz spends plenty of time on Yahoo!'s sites, but he does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.