NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- News over the weekend from Reuters came out that co-founder
Jerry Yang is interested in buying back Yahoo! ( YHOO) to take it private. It's conveyable. Everything in the story rings true about Yang's potential interest, the likelihood of David Filo supporting his efforts to do so, and his private competitive streak despite his mild-mannered appearance.
Will it happen? I think it's a lower probability outcome. But that doesn't mean it isn't great news for Yahoo! long holders. At the moment, there are at least a dozen potential bidding combinations for the company's assets. And the list just seems to keep growing by the day. Yang's interest just adds to the mix. It means that some kind of deal is going to happen. If I had to guess, I would say it will happen before the end of the year. Jack Ma is still the most important player in all of this. Any deal for Yahoo! must have his tacit approval. Therefore, all roads lead through Ma. Yang, despite being a co-founder of the company in question, is a side player. His greatest argument is that he can be an informative advisor to a private equity consortium. Believe it or not, that might be very attractive to some of the suitors. Yang now only owns less than 4% of the company. His co-founder, Filo, has a stake almost double the size of Yang's. But Yang has always been the public face for Filo. I don't care if he did or didn't turn down Microsoft's ( MSFT) offer three years ago. All I care about is a deal happens now. And Yang pushing just adds to the sense of urgency for someone to buy this property.