Warren Buffett And Quicken Founder Considering Yahoo Bid

Sonny Go

It has been reported by Reuters on May 14 that billionaire Warren Buffett has joined the bidding race. The famed chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc is backing a consortium that includes Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert in bidding for Yahoo's internal assets. It has been long speculated that Yahoo may sell its internet business due to stagnant growth and falling stock prices in recent times, and it finally opened up for bids in April.

Bidding had already entered its second round in the previous week. Among the other companies being challenged by the consortium is Verizon Communications Inc, which is the favorite at the moment due to having acquired AOL in 2015 for $4.4 billion. There's also the parent company of the Yellow Pages, as well as the telecommunications company TPG that is interested in Yahoo's advertising technology.

So far, the consortium's plans for Yahoo are confidential, and whatever rumors may be circulating at the moment are unconfirmed. It's not certain whether Warren Buffett plans to add Yahoo to Berkshire Hathaway, a holding company that has ownership of companies like Geico and IBM. He did mention in an earlier interview with CNBC that "something has to change there" in regard to Yahoo.

As of now, all parties involved in the bidding process are not providing any comment regarding details of the proceedings, which are meant to be confidential. That includes Yahoo, Quicken Loans on behalf of Dan Gilbert, and Warren Buffett himself. All that is known so far is that Yahoo has shortlisted close to ten bidders in the auction, most of which are from private equity firms.

The list of bidders for Yahoo's core assets is expected to dwindle down as the auction proceeds to its latter stages. Other than the company's acquisition of the blogging site Tumblr, Yahoo has not seen much growth in recent years. Due to this long period of stagnancy, the activist hedge fund Starboard pushed for the sale of Yahoo's assets earlier this year—an effort that won out and gained Starboard four board seats in the company.

[Image via Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune/Time Inc]