When Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) had their 2008 Annual Meeting of Stockholders on August 1, 2008, their stock was trading at about $19.80 per share. At the conclusion of the meeting of the stockholders, it was decided that all of the board members would remain seated. Carl Icahn, Frank Biondi, and John Chapple joined the Yahoo! Board out of a proxy settlement. Capital Research called for a vote recount after the meeting and Eric Jackson pointed out that the vote count was controversial.
Nothing had changed with Yahoo!’s Board of Directors since then. However, two major events have ignited in the last week.
The first event is that Yahoo!’s stock dropped to below $13 this past week. After seeing this happen, Mithras Capital made a request to have Microsoft make an offer to buy-out Yahoo! at $22 per share. This is $9 per share less than Microsoft’s original offer. In response to the stock hitting this low, former major Yahoo! shareholder Eric Jackson sold all his hedge fund’s shares in Yahoo!
“I sold my YHOO stake, which I held through my hedge fund last month when it hit $20,” stated Jackson. “I still own a small amount personally. I had no idea idea it would fall this much but I finally decided to stop pushing a rope by calling for change from the inside [as a shareholder]. I voted with my feet. This board has the blood of its shareholders on its hands, and I hope they wear that scarlet letter stigma for a long time.”
Jackson was very proactive in having Terry Semel fired from the company. Jackson also interrogated the current Yahoo! board at the 2008 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
The second major event that took place this week is that Capital Research upped the amount of ownership that they have in Yahoo! Capital Research owned 8.6% and now they own 10.1%. It is slightly peculiar that a company that wanted to have a recount for the renomination of the Yahoo! board increase their investment.
This seems just as odd as the Carl Icahn twist. First Carl Icahn accused that Jerry Yang a real-life self-destructive doomsday device for his company, then after joining the board Icahn stated that it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.