Microsoft is aiming to own a minority stake in Yahoo as part of a bid led by private equity firm Silver Lake, according to Bloomberg News and the New York Times. The consortium is offering as much as $3 billion for a 15 percent stake in the Internet company, Bloomberg says.

No comment from Microsoft on the reports. The company needs to make sure that its search and advertising partnership with Yahoo remains viable, giving Microsoft some much-needed critical mass in its battle against Google in the search market. Microsoft Bing and Yahoo together have just under 30 percent of the U.S. market. Google has more than 60 percent.

Silver Lake’s bid values Yahoo at $20.6 billion, about 6 percent more than its market value, according to the Bloomberg report. Speaking to the news service, one analyst described the bid as disappointing.

Microsoft made an unsolicited bid for Yahoo in 2008, offering nearly $45 billion as an opener, but was rebuffed by Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, then the Sunnyvale, Calif., company’s chief executive.

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  • Guest

    So if the other expected bid hasn’t been submitted yet, why is detailed information like this being leaked? It would seem to put the existing consortium at a major disadvantage.

  • Guest

    I like this strategy. Jerry Yang foolishly declined Microsoft’s earlier offer of a buyout, so now Microsoft can scoop up the desiccated remains of Yahoo! for a song. (A Zune song, no doubt.)

    • Guest

      This offer doesn’t do much for Yahoo’s shareholders. They can get $20-25 in a bidding war. It’s already above this offer tonight on news of more bids coming in.

  • Bob

    If MS’s valuation continues to decline as it has for the past eleven years, how long before someone takes a serious run at buying MS itself? Lots of cash. Still spin off lots more despite being disrupted in many segments. And the multiple is low enough that most acquiring entities would probably gain value by adding the incremental revenue and profit.

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