Private-equity firm Silver Lake, Chinese Internet company Alibaba and Russia’s Digital Sky Technologies are reportedly considering teaming up to make a joint bid to take over Yahoo! (YHOO) in a deal that would almost certainly draw tough scrutiny from regulators.
News Corp. is the parent company of FOX Business.
The reports about further interest from various companies in Yahoo! sent shares of the struggling Internet company rallying 3.8% to $14.04 Tuesday morning.
After ousting CEO Carol Bartz last month, Yahoo! has reopened the door to an acquisition and has been fielding potential offers.
According to Bloomberg News, the threesome of Silver Lake, Alibaba and Digital Sky Technologies has contacted Yahoo! and its advisers in recent weeks to talk about a potential bid, but the discussions are still at an early stage and there’s no guarantee an offer will emerge.
Still, the report comes after Jack Ma, the chairman and founder of Alibaba, recently said he is “very interested” in buying Yahoo!, which owns a 40% stake in Alibaba.
However, a takeover by Alibaba, DST and Silver Lake would essentially hand control of the most visited U.S. web portal and second-largest search service over to Chinese and Russian companies.
The three investors are already bracing for potential opposition to foreign ownership of a communications company, Bloomberg News reported.
Due to opposition from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., China-based Huawei Technologies abandoned a 2008 bid to acquire 3Com, which was then bought by Hewlett-Packard (HP) in 2009 for about $2.7 billion.
Meanwhile, News Corp. has contacted Yahoo! and several financial firms, including Silver Lake, about a possible bid for the company, the Times reported.
Shares of News Corp. eased 0.9% to $14.90 Tuesday morning, compared with a 1.02% decline on the S&P 500.