Icahn against partial-sale bid for Yahoo

Billionaire investor opposes selling just a portion of the Internet pioneer because he believes the stock is undervalued.

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Billionaire investor-activist Carl Icahn opposes selling just a portion of Yahoo, telling CNBC on Wednesday that he believes the company's stock in undervalued.

Carl Icahn
Carl Icahn opposes a partial sale of Yahoo, saying the company is undervalued. CNET News

"I don't think there is very much to having a partial bid for the company, at least as a large shareholder," Icahn said.

Icahn, who is on Yahoo's board of directors, made the statement while addressing rumors that former AOL Chief Executive Jonathan Miller is trying to raise money to acquire all or a part of the Internet pioneer. Miller reportedly believes he can do a deal worth about $20 to $22 per share.

Icahn, who purchased an additional 7 million shares of Yahoo last week, told CNBC that he spoke recently with Miller about the possibility of buying Yahoo.

"Right now I would be against that and I pretty much told Jonathan that," Icahn said. "I think the stock is very undervalued."

He also said that while he had not spoken with others on the board about a partial sale, he thought they would agree with him.

In recent months, Yahoo shares have fallen, along with the rest of the stock market, and have been hovering around the $10 mark--a far cry from the $33 a share Microsoft offered in its takeover bid for the company earlier this year.

Icahn was also queried about who he thought would make a good chief executive for the search pioneer after the recent resignation of CEO Jerry Yang. Icahn said the company needed a CEO who is "a hard-nosed, cost-cutting kind of guy," but did not mention any candidates by name.

He also emphasized that he would still like to see a search deal worked out with Microsoft.

Yahoo has been under great financial pressure lately. In addition to Yang's resignation, there has been a parade of executives abandoning the troubled search company.

After reporting a 64 percent drop in net income and warning that the advertising market is softening, Yahoo announced in October a layoff of at least 1,430 by the end of 2008. The cut follows another in which about 1,000 Yahoo employees lost their jobs in February.