Pickens picks up Yahoo shares

Buys 10 million following Icahn's lead

Even maverick oil investors are trying to make money off the continuing Yahoo mating dance.

Oilman T. Boone Pickens said in an interview Tuesday on CNBC's Squawk Box that he has followed the lead of old friend Carl Icahn and bought 10 million shares of the online giant.

"Carl Icahn is a smart guy," he said in an interview with CNBC's Becky Quick. "He does great things for shareholders. And because of Carl Icahn, I'm a shareholder of Yahoo, too."

Asked how the investment came about specifically, Pickens said: "When I saw what he did, (I figured) I'll jump in with Carl. He goes in first, I jump in behind him."

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Microsoft Corp.'s latest deal proposal for Yahoo -- mentioned without specifics by both firms on Sunday -- would see the software giant buying Yahoo's search business. Under the new proposed transaction, Yahoo would also sell its Asian assets and allow Microsoft to acquire a minority stake in the rest of the company.

Wall Street observers said this would allow Microsoft to become a more formidable competitor for Google in the key search business without requiring a full-fledged takeover of Yahoo.

The latest approach by Microsoft comes after the company recently walked away from a $33 per share takeover offer for Yahoo, which was looking for a higher price. However, the Journal said the new deal proposal seems unlikely to win support from Yahoo's board.