A second US billionaire investor has taken shares in Yahoo! just days after the internet company reopened talks with Microsoft. T Boone Pickens, a Texan billionaire, has bought 10m shares in the company to support Carl Icahn’s bid to unseat the internet company’s board.
The deal, which is thought to have cost Pickens around £127m, brings the number of investors in favour of a Microsoft deal up to about 20%. Icahn (pictured) launched his bid to oust the Yahoo! board last week after building up a stake in the company over the past few weeks.
Microsoft is not thought to be dealing with the dissident shareholders at present and the company restarted talks with Yahoo! about an alternative deal at the start of this week. It is thought that this would lead to a break-up of Yahoo! with Microsoft buying its search-related advertising business. Yahoo! may then sell its Asian operations in a bid to raise cash to return to shareholders and Microsoft would take a stake in the remaining company.
Yahoo! turned down Microsoft’s $47.5bn (£24.4bn) bid earlier this month. Icahn claims it is “unconscionable” that the deal was not put to shareholders but Yahoo! hit back saying his letter to the company showed “a significant misunderstanding of the facts”.