This would certainly shatter the uneasy calm at Yahoo: CNBC is reporting that billionaire investor/gadfly Carl Icahn may launch a proxy fight at Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), and according to their sources, he may have acquired up to 50 million shares of Yahoo last week, representing 3.5 percent of the company. Shares of Yahoo, which had been sliding since last week, have perked up in the last hour on the reports. The fundamental question: is Microsoft’s (NSDQ: MSFT) offer still on the table at $33, as Craig Mundie suggested last week, or even $31? If it is, and Icahn can get a slate of (literal) yes-men on the board, then that’s an opportunity. Update: WSJ confirms that Icahn has purchased 50 million shares, but says he has received no confirmation from Microsoft that their offer stands. The report also claims that Icahn will wait until the last minute, Wednesday (see below), before deciding whether to file a slate.
Icahn would need some help to make it happen, but we know some big shareholders weren’t happy with the way things went down earlier this month. Major shareholder Capital Research Global Investors publicly expressed disappointment at how things turned out, reports MarketWatch and Legg’s Bill Miller — whose luck lately has been that of the cooler at the blackjack table — seemed to second guess the outcome as well.
Other shareholders may be in the mood to go along. Since Microsoft pulled its bid, there’s been no movement on deals with AOL (NYSE: TWX) or Google (NSDQ: GOOG) that were supposed to have provided shareholders with a silver medal. One investor who will certainly be in the mood: Eric Jackson. He had wanted to run a slate, but realized it would be too expensive, according to Reuters. Icahn can probably count on his vote.
Update: Under Yahoo