In what may well turn out to be one of the greatest magic tricks in the history of American business, Marissa Mayer will reportedly sell all the parts of Yahoo that nobody wants for more than $5 billion:
Yahoo has received multiple bids at or above $5 billion for its core business, CNBC has learned.
To be sure, it's a mystery what exactly is up for auction — each bid could contain slightly different assets, including parts of intellectual property and real estate — and bids will shake up again as the next round of the auction commences. But there are bids of $5 billion or more for the core business, excluding any real estate or patent portfolio, according to people familiar with the situation.
But the "core business" also doesn't include Yahoo's stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, a/k/a the parts of Yahoo that are actually worth money.
According to CNBC, the one major bidder that low-balled Mayer was Verizon, making it less likely that she will have to report to her old nemesis Tim Armstrong. The report does not mention the bid from a group led by Bain Capital that includes former Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn, which is the one we like best for its narrative qualities.
Putting the players involved aside, the mere fact that Mayer could turn around and sell the dumpster fire that is Yahoo for more than $5 billion after rumors swirled that the business was worth between $2 billion and $4 billion is enough to make one believe that she is not in fact "Evita Breadsticks" but the lovechild of Henry Kravis and Harry Houdini.