Yahoo’s next challenge: Shareholder proxy fight

Starboard Value, the activist Yahoo shareholder, has been testing the waters to see if there is support among other investors to nominate new Yahoo board candidates, Bloomberg reports.

Citing sources, Bloomberg says that Okapi Partners, a proxy solicitation adviser that Starboard uses, has been calling Yahoo shareholders to test support. Starboard held less than 1 percent of Yahoo’s shares as of December.

Starting next week, Yahoo investors have a window until the end of March to nominate replacement candidates. If they do, that could set off a proxy fight. Yahoo’s next shareholder meeting is in the summer.

Yahoo has been trying to turnaround its core Internet business, as I have written recently. The company announced earlier this month that it was cutting 15 percent of the workforce and exploring “strategic alternatives.”

Shares of Yahoo were trading up slightly on Thursday at $29.48. Yahoo stock fell below $27 last week.

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Some activist investors say they have lost patience with Yahoo and have called for bigger and faster change, including the replacement of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who joined the firm in 2012.

A proxy fight over the make up of the board would open a new front for Mayer as she seeks to stabilize the firm.

In November, Starboard CEO Jeff Smith said that the firm was considering a proxy fight for board seats if the company continued “to make decisions that destroy shareholder value.”

Above: Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. (AP Photo/Keystone/Laurent Gillieron)


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  • Saiful Rimkeit

    Returning the company to greatness has been the vision since the CEO was hired. Spoken like a politician. Intentions have not been met.