Yahoo jumped more than 5 percent in premarket trading Thursday after further reports that private-equity companies are looking to buy the company, or at least take a major stake.
Late Wednesday, Reuters and Bloomberg News said Blackstone Group and Bain Capital are looking at a joint bid with Alibaba Group of China and Softbank Corp. of Japan. The companies could bid more than $20 per share, the reports said. Neither Yahoo, nor the private capital firms, would comment on the reports.
Others reported to be interested in at least buying a major stake in Yahoo Inc. include Silver Lake Partners, Providence Equity Partners and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Microsoft Corp. also has signed a confidentiality agreement to gain access to Yahoo's books, but the world's largest software maker doesn't appear to be in interested in buying the entire company like it was in 2008.
Youssef Squali at Jefferies & Co. said he believes a likely scenario is the sale of a Yahoo stake just under 20 percent, avoiding a shareholder voting requirement under Delaware law. The goal would be to set the company up for a tender offer to buy 50 percent control.
The stock rose 5.5 percent, or 86 cents, to $16.56 before the market opened in electronic trading.