Ballmer said to be indecisive on Yahoo situation


— 1:33 PM on May 1, 2008

On April 7, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer presented Yahoo's board with an ultimatum: accept our takeover offer within three weeks, or we'll deal with your shareholders and possibly get you fired. The three-week deadline has come and gone, but according to the Wall Street Journal, Ballmer still hasn't made a decision.

Quoting "people with knowledge of the situation," the WSJ says Microsoft has hinted that it could raise its offer from around $29 per share to $33 per share and avoid a hostile takeover entirely. However, both big Yahoo shareholders and Yahoo management supposedly won't reconsider unless Microsoft offers $35 or more per share.

Microsoft held a board meeting on Wednesday to go over the situation, and the WSJ says Ballmer is mulling the possibility of walking away from the deal altogether. However, no decision has been reached yet, and directors reportedly "gave Mr. Ballmer broad discretion to either go hostile or abandon the Yahoo pursuit, and the final outcome remained a toss-up in the wake of the meeting." There's also a middle-of-the-road option left: nominate proxy directors to replace Yahoo board members before making an offer to shareholders. People familiar with the talks say to expect an announcement "later in the week."

 
   
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