Yahoo Bares Its Teeth: Using Home Page, Legg Mason to Fight Icahn
Yahoo’s letter to shareholders yesterday was just the first step in their latest defense against Carl Icahn’s attempts to elect a proxy board at the shareholder meeting in two weeks. Today, Yahoo and its allies strike two more blows.
First, Yahoo has begun leveraging one of its biggest assests—one of (if not the) most popular home pages on the Internet. Yahoo has put a notice about the pending board election below the fold. TechCrunch spotted this earlier today, with a box on the Yahoo home page below-the-fold reading “Your Yahoo!. Your Vote.” An alternate form of the box, as seen by CNET, reads “We have a couple of exclamation points to make.” Finally, a third iteration quotes Carl Icahn:
The box links to proxyfacts.yahoo.com, which lists many of the same defenses that yesterday’s letter did. But probably most interesting is the chart showing fifteen public companies’ stock changes from the time that Carl Icahn became involved in the companies’ stocks:
Of course, Carl Icahn is probably more likely to take risks on companies that aren’t doing so well anyway. Oddly enough, Yahoo didn’t put itself on the list…
Yahoo is also celebrating another victory today as at least one major shareholder supports the current board: Legg Mason, the second biggest stakeholder in the company, announced their support for Yang, Bostock & co. In a statement, Chairman Bill Miller said:
We believe the current Board acted with care and diligence when evaluating Microsoft’s offers. We believe the Board is independent and focused on value creation for long-term shareholders. . . .
We would prefer that the company and Mr. Icahn reach a mutual agreement on the composition of the Board and end this disruptive proxy contest.
Two points for Yahoo today: how long before Carl Icahn’s next volley?