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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

December 2, 2008 at 11:21 AM

WSJ: Jonathan Miller courting investors for possible Yahoo buyout

Jonathan Miller, one of the two would-be leaders named in the weekend’s widely discredited Yahoo story from The Sunday Times of London, is again in the headlines. This time, the former AOL CEO is said to be drumming up investors to purchase all or part of Yahoo, according to unnamed sources quoted by The Wall Street Journal.

“Mr. Miller has been talking to private equity investors and sovereign wealth funds for months in hopes of raising money for a Yahoo deal, and it is unclear whether the talks have progressed or are just continuing, these people say.

“Mr. Miller believes he can do a deal that would be worth around $20 to $22 a share to Yahoo shareholders, these people say, which would involve raising about $28 billion to $30 billion to purchase the entire company.

“It is unclear whether Microsoft Corp., which has indicated that it is still open to doing some sort of deal with Yahoo, would be involved in any transaction.”

It was unclear from the story what relationship, if any, these latest developments have to the weekend report, which described a complex transaction involving Microsoft, Yahoo, private investors, Miller and Ross Levinsohn, his partner in venture capital fund Velocity Interactive Group.

Levinsohn publicly called the Times of London story “total fiction.”

But clearly, Miller, at least, has been involved in the ongoing Microsoft-Yahoo saga. The Journal reports he “has been a behind-the-scenes player in discussions between Yahoo and Microsoft for months, advising both sides on how to make a deal between the two companies work.”

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