Sunnyvale (CA) – Yahoo today made a strategic decision to defend itself against a possible hostile takeover by Microsoft: The March 14 deadline for nominating directors to its board has been canceled and delayed to a not yet specified time in the future. Yahoo hopes that this move will allow the company to be undistracted in the search for alternatives to a $44.6 billion Microsoft buyout.
Yahoo’s news and SEC filing comes two days after Microsoft announced that its directors and executive officers will actively “solicit” proxies to take over Yahoo. Jerry Yang, co-founder and chief executive officer of Yahoo, today informed employees that the nomination deadline was extended from March 14 to 10 days following the public announcement of the date for Yahoo’s 2008 annual meeting of stockholders.
While this decision does not prevent anyone, including Microsoft, from nominating directors, it removes an imminent deadline and pressure from Yahoo’s board to make a quick decision on the proposed Microsoft transaction. “(…) our objective here is to enable our board to continue to explore all of its strategic alternatives for maximizing value for stockholders without the distraction of a proxy contest,” Yang wrote in an email to employees. “It will also make it easier for you to continue to focus intently on delivering on our business strategies and creating value.”
Yahoo officially rejected the $44.6 billion offer from Microsoft on February 11.