Microsoft closer to buying Yahoo

Software giant Microsoft is close to buying Yahoo after all.

According to Reuters, Microsoft has signed a confidentiality agreement with Yahoo, allowing the software giant to take a closer look at Yahoo’s business.

Vole tried to buy Yahoo in 2008 at an over inflated price but was bizarrely prevented by the Yahoo board. Now it seems that Steve Ballmer can buy the outfit for a lot less than he bid for a few years back.

Microsoft will join several private equity firms that are also looking over Yahoo’s books and operations, as they explore various options for striking a deal with the struggling internet company.

Private equity firms KKR and TPG Capital have also signed confidentiality agreements with Yahoo. They are talking about buying minority stakes in Yahoo of up to 20 percent, with an eye toward eventually taking over the whole company.

However the Yahoo board’s wonderful management decisions, which have put the company in the place it is today, are continuing to stop the outfit fetching a good price.

Some private equity firms have refused to sign Yahoo’s NDA because of restrictions that would prevent them from forming consortiums.

Vole has not got that problem. It has a cash pile of $57 billion and probably would buy the company itself. When Vole tried to buy the company in 2008, it offered to pay as much as $47.5 billion, or $33 per share. Shares of Yahoo were valued at $14.98 yesterday.