Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) has hired Goldman Sachs to handle possible interest from suitors looking to take it over, Bloomberg says, but most of the follow-up reports today say that the probability of a takeover happening is low. The NYT‘s Andrew Ross Sorkin, for instance, says “talk of a deal is still pie-in-the-sky” and adds that one rumored suitor, PE firm Blackstone Group, is no longer interested. Analysts are also throwing some cold water in a series of reports this morning. Read on for a sampling of some of the commentary.
– Jordan Rohan, Stifel Nicolaus: “While there are many things that have changed that make a potential Yahoo! buyout more likely to happen today, there are a couple of big factors that make the potential buyout a low probability event, in our view. Those factors are the lack of availability of financing for a full $30 billion takeout, which would simplify the takeout process signficantly, and the incentive that Yahoo! management has to wait for a liquidity event at (Alibaba subsidiary) TaoBao, which addresses the valuation gap.”
– Sandeep Aggarwal, Caris & Co.: “In our view, Yahoo! choosing to become part of private equity is less likely but the probability of Yahoo! selling its stake in the private assets of Alibaba sooner than expected is very high. We believe that in addition to Softbank, eBay (NSDQ: EBAY) could be another candidate which can be very interested in buying Yahoo!’s stake in Alibaba’s private assets.”
– Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray: “In concept, we agree that there would be synergies between Yahoo! and AOL (NYSE: AOL), but we believe the reality of the situation is that it would be easier for Yahoo to acquire AOL outright than for the reverse to happen with PE involvement.” (via TechTraderDaily)
– Mark Mahaney, Citigroup: In a report titled ‘Yahoo-Private Equity Deal Seems Unlikely,’ Mahaney says that while a deal is “plausible” it would be “extremely difficult” because of “1) Size of the deal, which would likely require $25-30B offer (YHOO