After Yahoo delivered a nice, big single-finger salute to Microsoft and Carl Icahn on Saturday night, Icahn himself has struck back.
"Dear Fellow Yahoo! Shareholders:
Over the years I have attempted to make changes at many companies but I have yet to see a company distort, omit and twist events and facts in the manner that Yahoo! has done in their press release issued Saturday night, July 12th."
Carl says, "DON'T BE FOOLED," and outlines five "obfuscation[s]" by Yahoo in their press release on Saturday night.
Apparently, Yahoo neglected to mention that the 24-hour ultimatum given by Microsoft also included the potential for more time if Yahoo was willing to postpone the annual meeting for a short time. However, I hardly see any benefit for Yahoo management to postpone their meeting, simply because of the increased risk that the share price will decline further and more shareholders will switch over to the Microsoft/Icahn fence.
Icahn is also ticked off that Yahoo failed to mention the additional guarantees Microsoft was willing to meet. (You can take a look at the full details of the proposal on Kara Swisher's blog). Yet, Henry Blodget believes that these added "benefits" (a five-year guarantee of $2.3 billion in search ad revenue, with an option to renew it another five years at a $1.6 billion minimum) are virtually "meaningless" because they are contingent on traffic.
It appears that Microsoft was even willing to discuss keeping "a number of the current board members and Jerry Yang as Chief Yahoo!," though I'm inclined to believe that if Icahn is put in charge of the rest of the company like the proposed deal says, Yang would have little real power. Icahn also repeats Microsoft's previous declaration that they will not buy all of Yahoo with the current board in place and that, despite Yahoo's claims, "his interests are aligned with yours" and together, "we can get value much in excess of the recent and current market for Yahoo! shares."
What a war.
-- Ichan biographer Travis