New York (HedgeCo.Net) – Carl Icahn continues his quest to shake up the board of Yahoo, and this time, that includes ousting CEO Jerry Yang. According to the Wall Street Journal, Icahn is channeling shareholder complaints in hopes to fuel his proxy battle and to facilitate the Microsoft deal.
Last month, several Yahoo shareholders filed a complaint against Yang and the board of Yahoo, claiming that they acted in a way to discourage the Microsoft deal and that Yang, who has a personal disdain for the software giant, did everything he could to quell the prospect of a merger. According to the statements, Yahoo had rejected a bid from Microsoft back in January 2007, when CEO Terry Semel said no to a $40/share offer.
The plaintiffs also suggest that Yang, along with co-founder David Filo and other Yahoo executives, not only turned down Microsoft’s bids, but set up a nice exit plan for employees to leave the company should there be a hostile takeover by constructing attractive compensation plans.
"Nobody ever understood the magnitude of what Yahoo did to do avoid making a deal," said Icahn.
Yahoo, who issued a statement last night, said that Yang, along with the board, has been "crystal clear that it would consider any proposal by Microsoft that was in the best interests of its shareholders".
Recently, hedge funds Paulson & Co. and Third Point LLC publically backed Icahn’s push for the Yahoo/Microsoft deal, with the hopes that the deal would help fuel higher returns and help Yahoo better compete against Google. Both hedge funds hold a major stake in Yahoo.
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