Yahoo rejected $40-per-share offer in Jan. '07


Yahoo, which recently couldn't persuade Microsoft to bid $37 per share to be acquired by the software giant, turned down a $40-per-share bid 15 months ago.

The revelation of Microsoft's larger, rebuffed offer in January 2007 comes courtesy of previously sealed documents that a judge, in response to a shareholder lawsuit against Yahoo, ordered be unsealed.

Microsoft recently yanked its $33-per-share bid to acquire Yahoo, causing some shareholders to sue and encouraging investor Carl Icahn to buy up shares and launch a proxy battle.

Also revealed in the documents are indications that Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, presumably in an effort to thwart Microsoft, tried to push through a severance plan that could have cost Microsoft more than $2 billion if it were to purchase Yahoo.

Adopted Feb. 12, the program guarantees payments to 13,800 Yahoo employees — under conditions — if they were fired or they quit within two years of Microsoft taking over the company. (partialdiff)