back to article Icahn writes another bloody letter

Yahoo! shareholders will be picking yet another letter from Carl Icahn off their doormats today, as his attempted takeover bid gets ever more bad-tempered. Icahn's letter breaks into capital letters to warn shareholders: "DON'T BE FOOLED" and "ARE YOU, THE REAL OWNERS OF YAHOO!, WILLING TO TAKE THE SAME RISK?". The letter …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Should I know who Carl Icahn is?

    'cos it don't seem to be explained in the artickle?

  2. Mike Groombridge

    Carl icahn

    his an annoying pain in the arse git who i believe makes his money as a venture capitalist and general stock broker don't know where he got his money orginally but i've only heard of him in cases like this where merges or take overs are due.

  3. Pete Burgess


    That's why there's a handy "related article" link at the bottom of every page... so you can find out who he is!

  4. Jamie Edwards
    Gates Halo


    Maybe Microsoft's intention was always and only to trigger the internal ripping-apart of Yahoo?

  5. Mark

    Carl Icahn

    Is someone who bought up a million dollars of Yahoo! stock so he can sell to Microsoft at a tidy short term profit. He has no thought about whether the shareholder profit sharing will be destroyed so isn't an investor.

    Additionally, this disregard for the actual profitability of a publicly traded company shows that the persuit of profitability above all is a red herring: no serious investor ever uses the shareholder handout of profitable companies: they sell the shares for profit. Whether that is a profitable company is irrelevant.

  6. fred slack

    The demise of Yahoo

    Anybody or anything is better off without Microshit.

  7. Darren Coleman
    IT Angle

    Re: Should I know who Carl Icahn is?

    A high-profile carpetbagger it would seem.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    Have you been living in a cave the last 30 years?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Icahn, nothing but a scavenger

    From what I know about Icahn, I wouldn't sell my shares to him, even if he was the second last person on earth!

    He is nothing but a scavenger and locust!

    He is one of the people who are do not differentiate between profit optimisation and profit maximisation.

    And for those who would like a definition:

    optimisation: get the most profit out of a company over a long period and keep the company (and it's employees) running at an optimum in what I would describe as a symbiosis.

    maximisation: pull as much money out of the company no matter what happens in the long run. if it goes down the drain, just get rid of the employees and shrink it down, with no regard of the people who actually keep the company going.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Yes you should know..

    He has been mentioned in pretty much every article about Yahoo, which has been appearing pretty much weekly for around 2 months now. So yeah, i'd say you're quite out of touch. Quick catchup for you. He is a Microsoft troll who is looking to help Microsoft eliminate competition by first involving himself in an internal war which saw much of Yahoo's board resign and share prices plummet. Once he managed to significantly devaluate Yahoo he has remained on his crusade to replace Yahoo's board with new managers who've never run an Internet company before and if successful also then sell Yahoo's search to Microsoft and leave Yahoo an empty shell. So yes, Icahn is the devil incarnate!

  11. Chad H.

    @ ac

    If you had read all the articles in the series, you'd know that carl ichann is a yahoo shareholder, amongst other companies, with the intelextual age of a 2 year old who believes throwing a tantrum will let him get his own way.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Feel Sorry

    I feel sorry for Yahoo.

    Everything icahn touches turns to crap. Look for Yahoo stock to be $7 a share soon.

  13. Keith Doyle

    It's a conspiracy, I tell ya!

    There's a theory floating about that Yahoo has a certain patent portfolio with regards to paid-search, that Microsoft sorely needs to license but Yahoo is impeded from doing so due to a deal that was made with Google-- or something, it's a little hard to figure out exactly all of the motivations and implications. The idea being though, is it isn't about Microsoft wanting to buy Yahoo, but only to put some serious pressure on them over the issue. An interesting article that attempts to explain the ins and outs of all this is found at If it makes perfect sense to you, please explain it to me in 50 words or less, as I just start to glaze over trying to see who's interests lie where in such a mess...

  14. Anonymous Coward


    Are you really as dumb as you sound?

    "Carl Icahn Is someone who bought up a million dollars of Yahoo! stock..."

    Really. Carl bought 5% of Yahoo for only a million dollars? Wow, he is a smart guy given that Microsoft's offer would value Carl's 5% of Yahoo at $2.3B.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For a small administration fee...

    My friend has discussed this at length with his almighty the King of Nigeria. The King will GUARANTEE your search revenue, he has $7.7 billion dollars US in international bonds at the bank of Lagos just waiting to buy your search unit. This is better than the Microsoft offer, since there is no loan involved.

    All he requests is that you pay a modest administration fee to a middleman, Mubawe Icahn, to help him transfer the money out of Lagos and safetly into any bank you wish.

    Remember vote for my friend Mubawe Icahn because he can deliver money from the King of Nigeria GUARANTEED!

    My friend

    Mubabo Katanwee

    Lagos Nigeria

  16. Abdul Koroma

    Why Microsoft???

    MSFT is responsible for all this mayhem engulfing yahoo. MSFT is now erroneously believing that its online future is now entirely dependent on acquiring yahoo and as such is resorting to every imaginable ways to unsettle yahoo. I hope they fail in this their madness and then may be it will force them to rethink their strategy: Why Microsoft Should Forego the Acquisitions Route(

  17. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: profit optimisation and profit maximisation

    You may choose to define these terms any way you like, but there's nothing in the dictionary definition of either that implies a particular timescale or beneficiary. The distinction you probably wish to draw is between shareholders and employees.

    To be honest, unless you are (or know) one of the latter, I can't see why you'd care. This is a company, not a teddy bear. It is owned by its shareholders. If you want a say in how it is run, buy shares. If you don't like the system, get a bomb from somewhere and become a terrorist.

    Joke icon, because otherwise some f*ckwit probably won't realise that last bit wasn't a call to arms.

  18. Lukin Brewer

    So Icahn has degenerated to ALL CAPS?

    He should be in line for an honourary FoTW soon. And entry into the Fellowship of AmanfromMars shortly after.

  19. Mark
    Thumb Down

    @Ken Hagan

    However, since shares are meant to be the means by which you get a share of the profit in exchange for investing in the company, starting a fire sale on the company is not investing in it.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Should I know who Carl Icahn is?

    If you used to fly back before it became an immense varicose vein in the arse, think TWA, just before it imploded. It was Carl Ichan, self-styled corporate raider, who fscked it up.

    Paris, because she would recognize a little prick.

  21. Greg

    Optimisation and Maximisation

    AC, as said by someone else, you obviously have decided that you could define words as you would like them and not as the dictionnary and the english language have them.

    Maximisation is the process of maximising, getting the most. Optimizing is the process of getting the best, or in mathematics, of getting either the minimum or the maximum (both the minimum and the maximum are optima).

    If you need to vent by posting anti-capitalist propaganda, do so, but please keep redefining the english language for another fight. One thing at a time.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $8 a share for you, $27.6 a share for Icahn

    1. Well firstly it's not a guarantee, since Icahn has no authority to speak for Microsoft, he can't control what offer they make him once he's burned the company.

    2. The guarantee requires that Yahoo delivery the hits and page views to Microsoft search. But people don't use Microsoft search so this is worthless, if Microsoft fail to get the users, then they get let out of the 'guarantee'.

    3. $2.3 revenue for 5 years is $8.33 a share (assuming they mean 2.3 a year for 5 years and not 480 million *5).

    4. $1 billion for Yahoo's cherry, it's search, that's $0.72 a share.

    5. $2.8 billion loan, presumably with interest, so a payment from Yahoo to Microsoft of about $1 a share in interest back to Microsoft.

    6. " Under the deal, according to Icahn, Yahoo shareholders would receive $16.25 per share in distributions.", I don't see where he gets that from I make it about $8 a share. $8.33 + 0.72 - 1

    7. "Microsoft would also be making a substantial equity investment in the remaining company at $19.50 per share, he stated." Presumably they promised to buy Icahn share's back at $19.5.

    Yes? So he gets his out at about $27.6 or more and they get a worthless company and $8 a share or more. Microsoft gets their search, at no risk, if they fail to perform their guarantee is nullified. And if Yahoo shareholders voted for this, Microsoft could make an offer far below this.

  23. Shane Kent

    Is it just me?

    If MS gets Yahoo search that means people will turn away from Yahoo and go to Google more. Or maybe open room for a new search engine to come in. I purposely change people's search to Yahoo or Google as I feel MS has enough with Windows, IE, Office, etc. to give them revenue from people searching. And even if MS kills off Yahoo and beef up Live search they just force me to set everyone to Google instead of giving them the choice of Yahoo or Google.

    Is it just me or do other IT people do this as well (any search other than Live, because MS makes enough $ as is)?

  24. vincent himpe

    Someone please alert Apple...

    They have an opportunitiy to add another i- thingie.

    After iPod, iPhone, and iMac they now can also have the iCahn. With the iCon of Steve at the helm that would complete the picture.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shane Kent

    Um people have been turning away from yahoo for some time. They screwed up the chat rooms. People are not happy with ToS of Yahoo for the groups. As search engine yahoo is dying. I cant see why MS wants yahoo. one crap search engine plus another crap search engine = one big steamy pile of crap.

  26. Captain DaFt

    Microsoft's goal seems to be

    Becoming number two in the search/ad delivery business by destroying the current number two, Yahoo!, by any means necessary.

    Ichan's goal is to make a profit by looting the coffers of any company he can get his hooks into, then leaving the legitimate shareholders with nothing. He's the corporate equivalent of a looting barbarian, IMO.

    The two together, after a common target, is a match made in Hell.

    That said, Yahoo!'s been on a long downslide since they adopted the practice of dumping groups that generate, in their opinion, too much traffic. Most of the groups left on Yahoo! are either nearly abandoned, or are run by spam-bots. All the legitimate traffc has long since jumped ship to Google Groups, which are hardly ideal, but the only other game in town at the moment.

  27. John O'Hare
    Gates Horns


    "I have yet to see a company distort, omit and twist events and facts in the manner that Yahoo! has done in their press release issued Saturday night, July 12th."

    Then he probably never dealt with Microsoft before.... o wait...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Chad. H.

    You are mistaken. Icahn is NOT a Yahoo shareholder. He is a share TRADER, not a share HOLDER. The term shareholder implies that one *holds* shares. If one buys only to offload the acquired items shortly thereafter to make a profit on the margin, that's trading, not holding.

  29. Anonymous Coward


    Icahn is the perfect definition of a pirate. He is not interested in the people and products of Yahoo at all; only pillaging the company for as much money as he can suck out of it as possible - leaving the dried husk and unemployed behind as he scampers off with millions.

    MS is interested in the Yahoo search because theirs is a failure. Yahoo has not figured out how to monetize theirs to the degree that Google has, so they have been generally sliding downhill over a long period of time.

    Yahoo has been foundering for a while, but Jerry's finger to Icahn and MS over the takeover and the safety net put in place to protect the employees in the even of a hostile takeover attempt is to be admired. Wish them well and hope they find their way.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Dear twats

    Carl is a BILLIONAIRE. Are you ? Therefore I submit that he does know how to do things to make money and you are all a bunch of whiney (soon to be ex-) Yahoo employees.

    As to him replacing the board with people who don't know how to run an internet company. Could be said for the current board. And where did they all start? Someone, somewhere, had to start the commercialisation of the internet and therefore run an 'internet business'. Get over it. His board replacements seem capable of making money. That's what a board of directors sole responsibility is. Being 'nice' to staff,competiotors etc is not in their remit. Never has been, never will be.

    As for selling it to Saint Bill's very nice company - couldn't be worse that selling out to the Goggle-devil that the existing board has done.

    Nuff said.

  31. amanfromMars Silver badge

    @Dear Twats

    Most BILLIONAIREs are, AC, for who assembles such Wealth that they Cannot Spend and whenever ITs Systems makes things more expensive for those who are not billionaires, you have to admit that it is Corrupted Code which is not inadvertly slipped into to do its Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.

    Some would say that it is a rigged Great Game in Terminal Decline ..... at least in Decline for the Dear Twats in the Genre...... for there are Good Billionaires and there are Bad Billionaires but none of them can take anything away with them whenever they cash in their Chips, which really means that the Wealth is and never was theirs, being just ChannelLeded through them for Great Games Play?

    That suggests there are Puppet Masters making Billionaires too? Now there's a Novelty to Play with.

  32. ratfox
    Thumb Down


    Icahn believes that if the shareholders contract a life insurance on a company, the board members and the employees, then they should all suicide to maximize profit.

  33. Chika

    @Captain Daft

    I suppose you realise the meaning of the slang term "number two", do you? Not an eviable thing to be, let alone to aspire to!

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