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As Yahoo Reviews New Bids, Verizon’s bid Sought to be Topped by AT&T: Sources


As Yahoo Reviews New Bids, Verizon’s bid Sought to be Topped by AT&T: Sources
After several parties, including Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc, made second-round offers, Yahoo Inc is set to put together a new shortlist of bidders for its core internet assets, the media reported quoting several sources close to the company.
One of the sources said that despite the synergies Verizon could benefit from thanks to its ownership of media unit AOL, its offer was at the low end of those received. This is a boon to the prospects of AT&T and other bidders in the auction.
Yahoo will assemble in the coming days a new shortlist of bidders from which it will solicit binding offers and no committed financing was required for second-round bids, the people said.
Multiple offers at or above $5 billion were believed to have topped Verizon's bid of more than $3.5 billion, reported news agency CNBC earlier on Thursday. The parties that made the higher offers were however not named in the CNBC report.
On the other hand, Reuters reported that an offer for the bid has been also submitted by a group led by a founder of Quicken Loans Inc, Dan Gilbert, and backed by Berkshire Hathaway Inc Chairman Warren Buffett.
According to sources that talked to the media, TPG Capital LP and a consortium of Bain Capital Private Equity and Vista Equity Partners Management LLC made offers while some buyout firms dropped out of the race over concerns about whether Yahoo's internet assets would be viable as a standalone business.
The sources that media talked with asked not to be identified because details of the auction are confidential. While Quicken Loans and Vista did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the media, Yahoo, Verizon, AT&T, TPG and Bain declined to place any formal comment.
Verizon has been examining how the other assets of Yahoo that are up for sale, such as search, mail and messenger, could be used and combined with the corresponding businesses of AOL, the Reuters rerpoted . Verizon had acquired AOL last year for $4.4 billion. Verizon is the largest U.S. wireless carrier and for the above reasons is primarily interested in Yahoo's advertising technology tools.
AT&T has been working with an investment bank on its bid as the company seeks to expand in mobile video offerings and has been seeking to catch up with Verizon in advertising technology, the sources reportedly said.
Only 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan, as well as its 15 percent stake in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, which accounts for most of its value, would be left with yahoo Inc after the sale of its internet assets.

After investors fretted over whether that transaction could have been carried out on a tax-free basis, Yahoo scrapped plans to spin off its Alibaba stake in December.