The recent rumors about AOL making a run appear to be off base, but Kara Swisher at All Things Digital reports that several other players are preparing to make offers for all or part of the Internet giant. Yahoo's top honchos, Chairman Roy Bostock and co-founder Jerry Yang, have spoken to several of the interested parties. From ATD:
Among the possible players: Silicon Valley venture firm Andreessen Horowitz, which is working with Silver Lake, in a deal that also might include Russia's DST and Yahoo's Japanese partner Masa Son; former News Corp. exec Peter Chernin, who is partnered with Providence Equity Partners; and the possibility that Yahoo's Chinese partner, Alibaba Group, might consider entering the fray in what could be a merger of sorts. Also being rung up by some of the parties: Microsoft -- Yahoo's advertising and search partner -- which is being seen as a possibly moneybags in any deal.
Swisher points out that any deal would be challenging to value because Yahoo has so many of its assets in Asia. Another complication are the people involved: The company's directors have been roundly criticized by major shareholders for ineffective decision making over the years. The grumbling has been led by hedge fund investor Daniel Loeb, who supposedly called Bostock "a fool" during an angry phone call earlier this week. Such a hot house atmosphere doesn't exactly encourage deal-making, especially when it's of this complexity.