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Yahoo Formally Rejects Microsoft Offer

Date: 2/12/2008 5:23:29 PM

Yahoo Inc. spurned Microsoft Corp.s $44.6 billion takeover bid as inadequate Monday without explaining how its management will match the payoff that the slumping Internet icons shareholders would have received had the unsolicited offer been accepted.

The rebuff had been widely anticipated after word of Yahoos intention was leaked during the weekend.

In its formal response, Yahoo said its board had concluded Microsofts unsolicited offer "substantially undervalues" the Sunnyvalebased company.

Yahoos stock price had dropped by more than 40 percent in the three months leading to Microsofts bid, which was valued at $31 per share when it was announced Feb. 1. The offer represented was 62 percent above Yahoos market value at the time.

By rejecting Microsoft, Yahoos board appears to betting that it will be able to extract a higher offer from the worlds largest software maker or its management team will finally be able to deliver on its repeated promises of a turnaround that has been in the works for the past 18 months.

Many analysts believe Redmond, Wash.based Microsoft will eventually raise its bid to $35 to $40 per share, sweetening the pot by $5 billion to $12 billion in an effort to negotiate an amicable sale.

Alternatively, Microsoft could take its original bid directly to Yahoos shareholders. If it goes down that route, Microsoft might have to antagonize Yahoo by trying to oust the 10member board the rejected the original offer.

Microsoft representatives didnt immediately respond to requests for comment Monday morning.

Yahoo shares rose 62 cents, or 2 percent, to $29.82 in early trading Monday while Microsoft shares lost 24 cents to $28.32.

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