YAHOO’s board of directors is this weekend preparing its first response to Microsoft’s $44.6 billion (£22.9 billion) hostile bid for the Silicon Valley icon. Analysts expect an announcement as early as this week and are betting Microsoft will eventually clinch the deal – at a higher price.
Yahoo directors began talks on Friday. If no decision is reached this weekend they are expected to meet again on Wednesday. Yahoo is reported to have hired Moelis & Company, a mergers-and-acquisitions boutique, to help Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers evaluate its options.
Analysts believe Yahoo will either begin negotiating final terms of an amicable sale to Microsoft or draw up plans for a break-up that would hand control of its search engine and a big piece of its advertising to rival Google. FINANCE ministers and central bankers from the G7 countries, meeting in Tokyo, warned of slower growth but said the American economy should escape recession. The G7 – America, Britain, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Canada – warned of the risks from financial-market turbulence and the US housing slump. “In all our economies, to varying degrees, growth is expected to slow somewhat in the short term, reflecting wider global economic and financial developments,” the G7 communiqué said.
The G7 urged banks to fully disclose losses and take action to shore up their balance sheets. The Financial Stability Forum of regulators and central bankers, which reported to the G7, warned of further credit writedowns and a tightening of bank lending. But it cautioned against a rush to regulate.
Bumper dividend at BE
NUCLEAR power group British Energy is this week expected to report a hefty additional dividend as it benefits from high electricity prices. Analysts expect it to pay up to 15p extra, on top of the interim dividend of 13.6p. Shareholders will also be anxious for updates on BE’s discussions with other groups about new nuclear plants.
Parker takes nonexec crown
SIR JOHN PARKER, chairman of National Grid, has been named Britain’s top nonexecutive director at the NonExecutive Director Awards. The event was sponsored by KBC Peel Hunt, The Sunday Times, 3i, the NonExecutive Directors Association, Pinsent Masons, University of Southampton and Alvarez & Marsal.