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A New Bidder for Yahoo is Warren Buffett, Quicken Loans founder: Reuters

Yahoo Inc's internet assets that includes Quicken Loans Inc founder Dan Gilbert is being sought to be bought by Berkshire Hathaway Inc Chairman Warren Buffett who is is backing a consortium vying for the deal with, reported Reuters citing people familiar with the matter.
The Sunnyvale, California-based company, which has been surpassed in recent years by rivals such as Alphabet Inc in the race for internet users and advertising dollars, would be boosted exhibited by the interest of Buffett and Gilbert even though there is no certainty that the consortium will prevail in the auction.
The U.S. telecommunications Verizon Communications Inc, whose deal to acquire AOL last year for $4.4 billion has made it a favorite to prevail in its bid for Yahoo's assets among industry analysts, would also be presented with the strong challenge by the consortium's participation in the sale process.
Reuters reported quoting sources that the consortium is in the second round of bidding in the auction for Yahoo's assets. Buffett is helping finance the offer, one of the sources added.
Whether Quicken Loans is being used by Gilbert, a billionaire who also owns the U.S. basketball team Cleveland Cavaliers, in any way as part of the consortium's bid is yet not clear.
There were no immediate comments when reached by telephone b Reuters from Buffett. Quicken Loans declined to comment on behalf of Gilbert, while Yahoo declined to comment.
With most offers coming from private equity firms, Yahoo had shortlisted close to 10 bidders in the auction for its assets, Reuters reported last month.
Berkshire had been slow to adapt to new technology as far as its investments were concerned, Buffett had admitted at the Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting last month.
Yahoo's business had deteriorated significantly and that "something has to change there," said Buffett in a CNBC interview on May 2. Buffett’s Berkshire is an IBM Corp shareholder. He did not mention any potential bid on his part.
One of the director on Berkshire's board is Susan Decker who had worked at Yahoo in several senior roles between 2000 and 2009 including president and chief financial officer.
"I hope the next owner can do something to revitalize the spirit of the core things that made Yahoo very, very unique and create a distinction in consumers' minds about why they love Yahoo still. It will be helpful if it is private or part of a much larger corporation to achieve that," she said on CNBC in an interview on April 29.
Activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP Chief Executive Jeffrey Smith and three independent directors associated with him would join the Yahoo board with immediate effect, the company had said last month. Yahoo's four new directors were on a slate that Starboard had proposed to oust Yahoo's entire board.


Christopher J. Mitchell

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