More than 10 bidders made it to the list of first-round bids on Yahoo's core business, with offers ranging from $4 billion to $8 billion, Bloomberg reported on April 22.
The report said the initial bidders will go through elimination to determine the most plausible bids, possibly narrowing down the bidders to seven. The chosen seven will then be given access to internal documents to check out the financial health of the company and the viability of investing in it.
According to the report, the first-round bid list included front-runner Verizon, TPG, YP Holdings, a consortium of investors led by Vista Equity Partners and Bain Capital, and two unnamed "strategic firms."
More than 40 bidders were earlier reported to be interested in Yahoo, but the bidding ended with a much shorter list. In an earnings call with analysts April 21, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said that her team is moving swiftly to examine the offers "in a way that we believe will yield enhanced value."
Some of the higher bids were offered by companies that haven't had the time to talk more extensively with Yahoo, Bloomberg's source said. That is why the bidders are meeting with the Yahoo team to get a better sense of the details of their offer.
Rakuten, for example, never spoke a word to Yahoo but reportedly offered a bid earlier this week, according to a Business Insider report.
SoftBank, the Yahoo Japan majority owner who could have been a likely bidder, reportedly isn't interested in bidding for the core business of Yahoo. It has, however, held talks with Verizon on the fate of Yahoo's 35 percent ownership of Yahoo Japan.
The talks could lead to any of two possibilities – Softbank can buy back the stake or Verizon gets to acquire it, Bloomberg's sources said. Verizon is making efforts to get the nod of Yahoo to continue the conversations with Softbank, the sources added.
When asked for more details on the progress of the bidding process, Mayer refused to share more, saying, "In order to protect the integrity of the process, we are not going to comment further on things like timing and/or particular offers."
With her hands full until a winning bid is decided, Mayer needs to quickly put together a fair and valuable deal to ward off any destabilizing attempts activist investor Starboard Value may be brewing and, more importantly, to ensure herself a graceful exit.
Photo: Eirik Solheim | Flickr