Rumor Mill Heats Up Over Yahoo-AOL Deal

Rumors are circulating tonight that Yahoo might be a candidate to be bought, possibly by some combination of AOL and various private-equity firms.

The Wall Street Journal report is citing “people familiar with the matter” who describe this as one possible scenario:

Silver Lake Partners and Blackstone Group LP 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, these people said. They added that at least two or three other firms could be interested in participating if a formal buyout proposal is drawn up.

The people familiar with the matter cautioned that these discussions—involving private-equity firms, AOL executives and financial advisers—are preliminary and don’t yet involve Yahoo. The conversations may not lead to an approach given the complexities in structuring a proposal, the people said.

The WSJ says other scenarios are also a possibility, including AOL and Yahoo merging after Yahoo sells off its some of its assets.

AllThingsD adds to the speculation and suggests several possible replacements for current Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz.

Both Yahoo and AOL declined to comment to the WSJ.

If true, this isn’t the first time Yahoo and AOL have danced together. In 2008, there were reports that Yahoo would merge with AOL to avoid a Microsoft takeover.

Related Topics: AOL: General | Channel: Industry | Yahoo: Business Issues

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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