It looks as though there is no end in sight for the Microsoft-Yahoo! acquisition deal.
In the last few days there have been some stories doing the rounds that this deal would be revived in a round about manner. It was suggested that Microsoft would lend money to some executives and investment bankers, who would then buy out Yahoo! at the price of about $13 per share, which is just a little over the current market price, and then sell it back to Microsoft. Sources at both the companies have rubbished these stories for now.
Acquisition rumours may have been fuelled by a comment by Steve Ballmer, in an interview with the Financial Times, where he said, “now is a good time for the software company to buy.”
However, in an interview with the Fox Business Network last week, Steve Ballmer told Brian Sullivan that the attempt to acquire Yahoo! was “a thing of the past”. He made it very clear that the deal would not be revived, while still keeping his options open about a partnership in any other form.
During the unveiling of the next Windows operating system, Windows 7, Steve Ballmer also admitted that the current financial crisis had affected the IT industry adversely, and it was realistic to expect that fewer people would be buying technology at the moment. While he sidestepped questions about the possibility of layoffs at Microsoft, he did acknowledge that it was important to conserve cash resources and be prudent about expenditure.
In the meantime, Yahoo! has just named Carol Bartz, who was the chairman of Autodesk, as its new CEO. This announcement has once again raised speculations that the Microsoft-Yahoo! deal may go through under her leadership.