Yahoo Sets April 11 Deadline for Prelim Bids: WSJ

Yahoo has set an April 11 deadline for preliminary bids for its core Web business and Asian assets, including its stake in Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

The paper said Yahoo intends via the process to reduce a field of about 40 potential suitors to a smaller group, noting that the timing on the preliminary bids could put Yahoo in position to close a deal by June or July.

The WSJ said Yahoo’s bankers have been in contact with several potential buyers, including Verizon, IAC/InterActiveCorp., Time Inc., private equity firms TPG and KKR & Co., adding that Microsoft has held talks with PE firms about helping with a deal – a situation that Re/code reported on last week, while also noting that Comcast could be among the potential “strategic” bidders for a portion of Yahoo’s assets.

Verizon has shown some interest in Yahoo’s assets. Speaking earlier this month at an investor conference, Fran Shammo, Verizon’s CFO, said his company would look at all acquisition opportunities, including Yahoo, but said it was too early to make a firm commitment. “I don’t think anybody knows what’s under the hood yet [at Yahoo]…That’s just an opportunity that we’ll look at,” he said then.

Last month, Yahoo announced a streamlining effort that will include the sale of “non-strategic” assets and a workforce reduction of 15%, or about 1,600 jobs.