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Yahoo! Rises as AOL, P-E Firms Talk Bid

AOL and several private-equity firms are in preliminary exploratory talks about making an offer to buy Yahoo!, the <I>Wall Street Journal </I> reports.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

AOL

(AOL)

and several private-equity firms are in preliminary exploratory talks about making an offer to buy

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

, the

Wall Street Journal

reports.

Yahoo! shares were rising 15.1% to $17.55 in premarket trading Thursday.

People familiar with the matter told the

Journal

that the discussions -- involving private-equity firms, AOL executives and financial advisers -- don't yet involve Yahoo! The conversations may not lead to an approach given the complexities in structuring a proposal, the people told the newspaper.

Silver Lake Partners and

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are among the firms that have expressed interest in teaming up with AOL to buy Yahoo! or trying to take it private on their own, the people said, the

Journal

reports. At least two or three other firms could be interested in participating if a formal buyout proposal is developed.

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Spokeswomen for Yahoo! and AOL declined to comment for the newspaper.

AOL has a market capitalization of $2.68 billion, smaller than Yahoo's $20.56 billion market value, the

Journal

notes.

Bloomberg

reports that Yahoo! was working with

Goldman Sachs

to help defend against possible takeover approaches.

Bloomberg

cited three people familiar with the matter.

While Yahoo! hasn't received an offer, it has been working with advisers for about two weeks to field any approach, said the people,

Bloomberg

reports.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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