Standing strong at number 24 on Forbes list of the 400 Richest Americans, with a cool $8.7 Billion to his name, Carl Icahn can haz lots of cheezburgerz! Guess what? He wants more.
Oh, the intrigue; the recent breathtaking game of “Deal or No Deal” between Microsoft and Yahoo. Unless you’ve been rafting down the Bolivian mountains’ Tuichi River for the last three months, you’re well aware of Jerry Yang and Co’s, repeated rejections of Microsoft’s increasingly generous overtures. The last one being a lofty (cough cough) – $33.00/share or $47.5 Billion dollars! This represented a full 70% premium over Yahoo’s closing price of $19.18 on January 31. With Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer playing the role of Howie Mandel, Yang sent two of his yings to politely tell him “No Deal Stevie…No Deal”!
On May 3rd, Ballmer finally had enough and sent a little love letter (or nastygram), depending on how well you read between the lines, to Jerry Yang, thanking him and telling him how disappointed he was that they couldn’t get a deal done. Marketing translation – “Jerry – you really screwed your investors on this one. Oh, and thanks for wasting my time.”
Nevertheless, Yang must have been thinking he had successfully fended off his unwelcome rival. There was one problem. The banker in the booth was seething. His name? Carl Icahn. One of the shrewdest investors in America, Mr. Icahn is not someone to be taken lightly. In fact, as of this writing, Reuters is reporting that Icahn is filing a full board slate for Yahoo, readying himself to take the big stick to Mr. Yang and Co.
Looks to me like Messrs. Brin, Page and Schmidt may be having that 30 minute strategy meeting afterall, since it won’t be long before Jerry Yang gets back on the phone to his buddy in Redmond to deliver a one word message: “Deal.”
My prediction? Carl Icahn will get his cheeseburgers and ultimately drive the sale to Microsoft. My sweepstakes number is $34.00 a share. Give us your opinion and price here at the Pilgrim and let’s see who the sharpest trader is.
About Sean Maguire.
Sean Maguire is the Founder and Managing Partner for 360SELL, Inc., an Austin, TX based internet sales and marketing consulting firm. Sean has over 20 years experience working with venture funded startups through Fortune 500 industry leaders.