SAN FRANCISCO - Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has reportedly come up with a slate of at least 12 candidates to potentially replace
board of directors.
Sources have told
that Icahn now has more than enough people to unseat Yahoo!'s entire 10-member board, all of whom are up for election at the company's annual shareholder meeting on July 3.
Both Icahn and Yahoo! were not available for comment.
Many investors have expressed dissatisfaction with Yahoo! for failing to reach a merger agreement with
. This could help Icahn as he tries to push his candidates through and change the direction of the company.
Microsoft has given no indication that it would be interested in reviving talks with Yahoo!, as many shareholders have been hoping. Still, a vote to oust the Internet giant's current board could at least get the conversation going again.
If the reports are true, Icahn will have just squeaked by Yahoo!'s deadline to nominate candidates for the board. Yahoo! set the date for the end of the day on Thursday, a tight turnaround for anyone trying to push through his or her own slate.
Darren Chervitz, director of research at the Jacob Internet Fund, which has recently been trimming its position in Yahoo!, says a dissident slate would be good for shareholders because it would give them a choice besides Yahoo!'s existing board.
At the same time, he wonders whether Icahn is in it for the long haul. Yahoo!'s stock has gotten a bump since Tuesday, when rumors emerged that Icahn had been considering a proxy battle.
On Thursday, shares were up 1.8%, or 49 cents, to $27.63 in after-hours trading, bringing them close to the levels they were trading at before Microsoft withdrew its $47.5 billion offer.
Icahn is known for swooping in and buying up shares of struggling companies in order to influence the way they operate. He recently bought a stake in BEA Systems and then pushed for a takeover by