Yahoo preps for investor road show--as Microsoft talks percolate

Investors will be hearing from Yahoo as its annual shareholders meeting draws near. Meanwhile, Microsoft is talking to the compay about a sweetened deal to acquire only the search assets of Yahoo,

Yahoo is gearing up to hit the road with its investor presentation and it wants to set the record straight, said one source close to the situation.

The Internet company did have substantial negotiations with Microsoft over the software giant's proposal for a partial deal, before the talks broke off several weeks ago, said the source, noting that a characterization by one of the company's investors was incorrect.

"Yahoo did negotiate over the terms...They negotiated over the TAC rate, and Microsoft responded by making improvements to their proposal," said the source, in contrast with earlier comments by an investor who characterized the situation as Yahoo rejecting Microsoft's offer "outright." (TAC is traffic acquisition costs, or essentially what Yahoo pays to partners that host Yahoo ads.)

And, as reported Monday , some of Yahoo's board members are talking with Microsoft about a sweetened partial buyout of Yahoo's assets--not the whole company. Two sources from both camps reconfirmed that a partial buyout, not an all-out acquisition, was the focus late Tuesday morning.

When Yahoo hits the road with its investor presentation, as part of its proxy battle with investor activist Carl Icahn , that presentation will contain such information as the process of negotiations between Yahoo and Microsoft, according to the source close to the Yahoo situation.

Icahn, who is expected within the next two weeks to name his final slate of dissident directors intended to unseat Yahoo's board, is slated to face off against Yahoo at the company's annual shareholders meeting on August 1.

Yahoo, which traded as low as $20.60 per share in morning trading, is heading toward the close of the trading day up 1.68 percent to $21.81 a share.

Meanwhile, the days are counting down toward a formal announcement by Yahoo regarding its anticipated reorganization , which has been linked to the exodus of a number of the company's top-level executives over the past few weeks.

Yahoo had been expected to make an announcement this week on the reorganization, but time will tell, given that faces a hectic run-up to a congressional hearing that will touch on its search advertising outsourcing deal with Google . An antitrust task force of the House Committee on the Judiciary will hold a hearing Friday to consider competition on the Internet.

Microsoft had previously voiced concerns that a Yahoo-Google search advertising pact would raise antitrust issue.

 

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