According to an article just posted to the Times Online site the Microsoft and Yahoo talks are back on folks. Now beware this could all be rumour (please let it be) but I would be negligent in my duties if I didn’t pass this a long.
Word is that it will take $20bn bucks this time around to snap up Yahoo’s online search business. But hang on for a second – Microsoft isn’t actually tabling another takeover bid. From the Times Online post
Under the terms of the proposed transaction, Microsoft would provide a $5 billion facility to the Miller and Levinsohn management team. The duo would raise an additional $5 billion from external investors.
This cash would be used to buy convertible preference shares and warrants which would give it a holding in excess of 30% of Yahoo.
The external investors would also have the right to appoint three of Yahoo’s 11 board directors. The talks with Yahoo involve Microsoft obtaining a 10-year operating agreement to manage the search business. It would also receive a two-year call option to buy the search business for $20 billion. That would leave Yahoo to run its own e-mail, messaging, and content services.
If you think this all sounds confusing you’d be right. As with everything to do with these two it will be a matter of wait and see.
[Update]Kara Swisher has debunked the rumour – thank goodness. Now can we get on with the really important stuff like FriendFeed buying Twitter.