Yahoo Drops Efforts to Block Documents on 2008 Microsoft Merger Attempt

March 27, 2012
By: Tracey E. Schelmetic

Yahoo Inc. has apparently decided to show us theirs.

“Theirs” is a sealed cache of documents relating to a 2008 merger bid from Microsoft (News - Alert). The decision is the culmination of a process that saw an activist shareholder, Dan Loeb, and his hedge fund, Third Point LLC, mount a proxy challenge against Yahoo. Third Point, which owns a five-percent stake in Yahoo, was seeking to have four of its nominees, including Loeb, elected to Yahoo's board of directors.

As part of this proxy challenge effort, Third Point filed a motion in a Delaware court in mid-March to force Yahoo to out the shareholder litigation documents related to its decision to rebuff a $31-a-share takeover bid from Microsoft. Third Point calls the rejection of Microsoft's bid one of Yahoo board of directors' many “misjudgments and failures.”

Dow Jones Newswires reports today that Yahoo has formally withdrawn its application to block public access to the documents. It had filed the application with a Delaware court earlier this month, according to court records. The documents had been filed as part of a four-year-old shareholder lawsuit against Yahoo that has since been settled, said the Dow Jones Newswires article.

As a result of Third Point's proxy challenge, Yahoo made a counter over the weekend with three of its own board appointees, excluding Loeb.

“[Preventing the] automatic lifting of a seal that would have included third parties' information without notice, Yahoo reviewed the documents previously sealed,” Yahoo said in response to the decision to block public access to the documents. “Since the issues in the 2008 litigation were fully resolved by the settlement and cannot be reopened, following that review, Yahoo has withdrawn its motion.”

There was no word on when the documents might become available.




Edited by Braden Becker