Yahoo stuffing up its own sale

Troubled search engine outfit Yahoo is working out ways to stuff up its own sale to another company.

The outfit’s board, which has managed to sabotage a sale to Microsoft which would have made it a killing at Vole’s expense, and lost millions in value, is trying to stop bidders talking to each other.

According to Reuters, Yahoo is insisting that those who want a slice of the action cannot get to get together to talk about joint bids.

This effectively stops companies forming an alliance so that they can keep bidding.

Not surprisingly potential buyers of Yahoo think this is stupid, but Yahoo insists that interested parties this week take a “no cross talk” provision, part of a non-disclosure agreement that must be signed to gain access to Yahoo’s sensitive financial data.

Already some private equity firms that had planned to jointly bid for Yahoo have refused to sign the nondisclosure agreement, and one source dubbed the the provision a deal-breaker.

Even after it has been gutted, Yahoo is still worth about $20 billion which mades it too big for any one party to swallow. Even Vole was thinking of making a team bid, with Silver Lake Partners and the Canada Pension Plan Investment board .

If Yahoo insists on the “no cross talk” provision, it could heighten pressure on Yahoo’s co-founder and former CEO Jerry Yang, who has been slammed for not acting in the best interest of shareholders. Yang derailed the Microsoft talks in 2008. Now he insists that there are shedloads of options for Yahoo and a sale is just one of them.

It is starting to look like he is preparing to shove another spanner in the works. Yang has muttered about doing a deal with private equity firms to take Yahoo private. This would keep his connection to the company which is proving so wonderful for shareholders.