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Going Forward

By Reuters  |  Posted 07-18-2008 Print

Yahoo is also sharing various pieces of its alternative strategy with shareholders ahead of August 1, as it tries to convince them the company can survive without ceding control to Microsoft, two people familiar with the matter said.

Shareholders will have to decide on August 1 whether they want to retain Yahoo's current board or vote in a rival slate nominated by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who owns nearly 5 percent of the company.

Robert Hagstrom, a portfolio manager at Legg Mason, Yahoo's second-largest institutional shareholder, said last week his firm prefers a full acquisition of Yahoo by Microsoft for $33 a share.

Other shareholders, too, have said they prefer a full acquisition rather than a partial deal that breaks up the Internet company.

Microsoft and Icahn recently teamed up to propose a deal that would involve Yahoo selling its search business to the software company, and handing over the remainder to Icahn.

The Microsoft-Icahn proposal is a sweetened version of a partial deal Microsoft had earlier offered Yahoo, after withdrawing its $47.5 billion offer to buy the whole company.

Yahoo has said it is willing to sell itself to Microsoft for $33 a share, but Microsoft said it is no longer interested in a full acquisition.

Shares of Yahoo edged down 4 cents to close at $22.44 on the Nasdaq on Thursday, while Microsoft shares rose 26 cents, or nearly 1 percent, to close at $27.52.

Officials from Yahoo, Time Warner and News Corp were not immediately available or declined to comment.

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