Third Point sells 11 million Yahoo shares to maintain stake level

Reuters News

2/1/2013 9:18:53 PM - Reuters News

(Reuters) - Daniel Loeb's Third Point LLC sold 11 million of its Yahoo shares on Thursday and Friday, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Third Point said in a statement on Friday that it sold the shares because it wanted to maintain a roughly consistent percentage holding of Yahoo's outstanding shares as the company pursues its $5 billion buyback authorization.

Yahoo bought back about 80 million shares worth $1.5 billion in the quarter ended December 31, under a $5 billion plan it authorized last May.

Third Point owned about 73 million Yahoo shares as of November 14, according to a regulatory filing.

The fund, which last year settled a bitter proxy battle with Yahoo after months of criticism of the company, said it owns about 62 million shares in Yahoo after Friday's sale.

Third Point is among Yahoo's largest shareholders.

The Internet giant is trying to reinvent itself amid intense competition and new chief executive Marissa Mayer has pleased Wall Street with stock buybacks.

Last week, the company's finance chief Ken Goldman said the company was not through buying back more shares, even as it invests in product engineering and marketing to grow revenues.

(Corrects to remove extra "on Friday" in first paragraph. Makes clear that shares were sold on Thursday and Friday.)

(Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in Bangalore; editing by Carol Bishopric)