If you can’t beat ’em, manipulate ’em. Reuters is reporting that Yahoo will appoint billionaire investor Carl Icahn and two of his nominees to its board, which will settle a proxy battle and make any deal with Microsoft less likely in the immediate future.
The current board was concerned that aside from a sale to Microsoft, Icahn didn’t appear to have any further concrete plans to turn Yahoo around. So this compromise should mean that for now, instead of Icahn replacing the entire current board, the two sides will join together in some way. In what way exactly remains unclear, however.
“It may be possible [the move will] generate some positive change. Perhaps Icahn can drive some more staff reductions, persuade it to divest its Asia investments,” said Jeffrey Lindsay, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, in the article. “Overall it seems much less likely that there will be a transaction with Microsoft. The market is already reading it that way. This looks like a compromise and in general most of these compromises, certainly with ones with Icahn in the past, have reinforced the status quo.”