Yahoo appears to be testing the waters for unloading key properties as part of its long-term makeover plan.
The beleaguered Web pioneer has set an April 11 deadline for potential suitors to submit preliminary bids for its core Web business and Asian assets, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Letters sent by the company to potential buyers requested they submit proposals that include which assets they are interested in and at what price, unidentified sources told the newspaper.
Yahoo also asked bidders for details regarding how they would finance a purchase, conditions or approvals that would have to be met on their end, and what key assumptions they would be making by deciding to move forward with a deal, the Journal reported.
Yahoo declined to comment on the report.
The process is part of a turnaround effort Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced in February that includes cutting about 1,700 jobs, shutting down services like Games, and selling off patents and real estate in the hopes of adding $1 billion to $3 billion to the company's coffers this year. She also put out a call to would-be buyers, saying she and Yahoo's board are ready to "engage on qualified strategic proposals."
It's been a rough couple of years for Mayer at the helm of Yahoo. Soon after taking over the Sunnyvale, California-based company in July 2012, the former Google executive began expanding and investing in new products and services. Yahoo revamped all its mobile apps and services, from Sports to Weather. She also spent over $2 billion on more than 50 acquisitions to bring in new talent and tech.
Yahoo claims 1 billion people visit all its sites combined each month, but that hasn't translated into increased revenue for the Sunnyvale, California-based company. Mayer's efforts to bring Yahoo back to relevance and keep it competitive with rivals including Facebook, Google and Snapchat, have been criticized by some.
In January, Yahoo shuttered Yahoo Screen, the company's premium video service, admitting it couldn't find a way for the service to make money after pouring $42 million into the effort. Its messaging service Livetext, a video chat app (but with no sound) was shut down eight months after it launched.
Mayer is also coming under fire from its own shareholders. An activist investor group called Starboard Value said in a letter to other Yahoo shareholders Thursday that it wants a new group of people to oversee a "turnaround plan, separation, or sale of assets." Yahoo's current board includes Mayer and company co-founder David Filo.
Though it didn't exactly say that it wants Mayer ousted as CEO, the group added that "we have been extremely disappointed with Yahoo's dismal financial performance, poor management execution, egregious compensation and hiring practices, and general lack of accountability and oversight by the Board."