If the board, which is expected to meet on Thursday to consider the proposal, was to reject Alibaba and Softbank's bid, the companies could re-partner with private equity partners.
had been rumored to be interested in a takeover bid where the PE firms would retain the company's existing search and display businesses, and Yahoo!'s Asian partners would buy back assets.
Scenarios that have been discussed in the press have included a full company sale, a divestiture of minority owned Asian assets like Alibaba and Yahoo! Japan, or a push for growth in online ad sales through acquisitions.
After firing Bartz, Yahoo! confirmed in a letter to employees that it had hired advisers to consider strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value -- code for potential sales. In the letter, Yahoo! said it needed to "reignite" its business and anticipate how consumers would take in media content in the future
Yet it's still unclear whether Yahoo! will actually decide on a full or partial sale of the company. Yahoo!'s management rejected a $44 billion merger offer by Microsoft in 2008.
Third Point, Alibaba, and Yahoo! were not immediately available for comment.
Yahoo! shares were sharply higher on the news, up 5.6% to $15.95.
Written by Chris Ciaccia and Antoine Gara in New York
>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to
>To submit a news tip, send an email to: