Wow, that didn’t take long did it? After the bell on Monday Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Terry Semel stepped down, paving the way for company co-founder Jerry Yang to try and get Yahoo back on track. It is unclear at this point whether Yang will hold that post long-term, or what direction the company will choose now (merge or go it alone) but one thing is clear (although not surprising), Wall Street likes the move as shown by the stock’s 8% jump after-hours yesterday. It is only up 2% this morning after the company squeezed an earnings warning into last night’s conference call. Analysts are taking their numbers down for the current quarter as a result.
Investors and analysts will now begin to throw out every conceivable merger partner for Yahoo to pursue, especially since Jerry Yang wouldn’t seem to be the best candidate for a long-term fix. The possibilities are vast, but one rumored deal is very interesting. CNBC’s David Faber reported Monday that News Corp (NWS) was considering an offer to sell MySpace.com to Yahoo in exchange for a stake in the combined company. While that is only a rumor of a potential scenario that might be discussed, a deal like that could value MySpace.com at around $10 billion and net News Corp a 25% stake in Yahoo/MySpace. That would be an unbelievable payoff for NWS after they paid less than $600 million for MySpace a few years ago. They could potentially make 16 times their money.
However, there is one issue that could prevent such a deal to even be discussed very deeply. MySpace partnered with Google (GOOG) in a long-term advertising deal last year that resulted in MySpace outsourcing the advertising management of its site to the online ad leader. Any combination with MySpace would force Yahoo to let Google run the ads on MySpace. Do you really think Yahoo would agree to that? Seems highly unlikely to me.
Full Disclosure: Long shares of Google at the time of writing