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Warren Buffett Backing Consortium Bid For Yahoo Internet Assets: Report

15 May 2016, 8:27 am EDT By Horia Ungureanu Tech Times
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An anonymous bidder has agreed to pay $3.45 million for a private lunch with billionaire Warren Buffett. The proceeds will go directly to a San Francisco-based charity that helps the poor and homeless.  ( Steve Pope | Getty Images )

Warren Buffett, CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, is supporting a consortium that aims to purchase Yahoo's internet assets.

The tech company will most likely get a boost of trust from investors after the manifestation of Buffett's interest. A notable name in the consortium is Dan Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans Inc and owner of basketball team Cleveland Cavaliers.

Yahoo thirsts for a vote of confidence from investors, as the company has fared poorly in recent years, especially when compared to rivals such as Alphabet Inc, Google's parent company.

Verizon is also the most important front runner for Yahoo.

Last year in June, the carrier purchased AOL's media and advertising business for no less than $4.4 billion. Anonymous sources from the "Big Red" said that work is being done to create an advertising technology platform that will tap into one of the company's richest resources: the detailed information about its more than 140 million customers.

Reuters cites sources familiar with the bidding process who claim that the consortium reached the second round of the auction, but there are no guarantees that it will win it.

Buffett, Gilbert and Yahoo declined to comment on the purported information.

Reports in April indicated that Yahoo had a shortlist of 10 bidders who will compete for its assets, a majority of which were said to be private equity ventures. Insiders from the bidding process named other participants, such as YP Holdings, Bain Capital and TPG.

In a CNBC interview, Buffett affirmed that Yahoo is on a downward slope and "something has to change there." During the interview, however, the third richest man on the planet made no reference to a potential bid.

In April, Yahoo recruited a number of high-ranking executives to help the company spring back into action. One was Jeffrey Smith, the helm of hedge fund Starboard Value LP. He and three of his partners joined Yahoo's board of directors.

Susan Decker was with Yahoo from 2000 until 2009 and occupied several positions, such as CFO and president. She is now a director in Berkshire's board.

"I hope the next owner can do something to revitalize the spirit of the core things that made Yahoo very, very unique," she said.

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