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Yahoo’s auction process is going “very, very well,” CFO Ken Goldman told an investor conference Tuesday.
Speaking at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in Boston, in a session that was webcast, he said: “It is a very robust process.”
The company’s board and a committee dedicated to the sale process are working “hard,” and the management team is “working in tandem with them,” Goldman said. “We are absolutely aligned.” He also acknowledged that for senior executives “the majority of our time” is focused on the sale process.
The CFO declined to give any timing guidance beyond saying the process was “well along the way,” adding the company was continuing “to work tirelessly” toward its conclusion. Yahoo has reportedly set an early June deadline for the next round of bids.
Goldman didn’t touch on specific bidders or the price tags of any initial bids, but described some recent bearish press reports as “signaling” by suitors.
Some bankers and analysts had originally predicted that Yahoo, led by CEO Marissa Mayer, could get as much as $8 billion-plus for its core business, which excludes its stake in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan. But late last week, reports said that bids as low as $2 billion came in from about a dozen suitors.
Among the companies understood to have made initial bids are private equity firms and Verizon, whose CEO Lowell McAdam spoke at the same conference earlier in the day. “We can’t talk about Yahoo. But that’s a possibility to gain greater scale,” he said.
There has also been chatter that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway made an offer, possibly together with Dan Gilbert, the founder of Quicken Loans and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team.
Suitors have lowered their expected offers after seeing non-public data provided by the company and attending sale presentations by Mayer, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Yahoo could look for a higher takeover price, end the auction or look to sell itself off piece by piece, analysts have said.
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