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Yahoo! It’s Action

The big end of town is beginning to move on Yahoo, as first round bids are due next week, according to Bloomberg source reports released on Friday.

Verizon is about to bid for the web business (and add a sweetener to also buy Yahoo Japan Corp) and Google is circling for parts of Yahoo, the news service reports, citing people familiar.

Time Inc, and private equity shops Bain and TPG are also considering, according to reports, whilst AT&T and Comcast have faded out and Microsoft just isn’t going to go there again, unless it’s as a token investment in a group with the winning bidder.

The general consensus is that Yahoo wants ideally to sell its core business and its 35.5% stake in Yahoo Japan, Bloomberg has reported. They’ve said that they’re “exploring strategic alternatives.” Meanwhile, their stock has lost one fifth of its value in a year and activist investors have been, well, activist.

All sorts of figures are being leaked to the media. Verizon is valuing its core business at less than $8 billion. Two sources close to the bidding say that Yahoo itself is painting a bit of a grim picture, forecasting revenue of $4.4 billion this year versus the $5 billion it earned last year, the New York Times reported, citing ReCode.

At least it’s hotting up and the next week or so should produce an interesting tale.

Verizon is a little busy on other fronts too. It’s bought a 24.5% stake in AwesomenessTV – a digital entertainment network for 18-34 year olds – which valued the business at about $650 million.

Together the companies are planning to create a new subscription-based, short-form mobile video service as Verizon ups the ante in reaching millennials and Gen Z.

“It’s like we’re in the early days of cable, and we want to participate more fully in the economics of that trend,” Verizon SVP Brian Angiolet said.

In news of the largest technology takeover ever – the $67 billion merger of EMC and DellEMC is planning to sell its documentation business Documentum, Bloomberg reported this week.

EMC paid $1.7 billion for Documentum, which sells software used to track corporate documents and files, in 2003. Private equity is expected to show interest.

Dell is also keen to sell its software units Sonicwall and Quest for $4 billion, sources quoted said.

They’re both selling to reduce debt ahead of their planned $67 billion merger.

Things are much quieter in “US tech IPO land” however.

Dead quiet in fact. No internet or tech companies listed in the first three months of 2016. It’s been seven years since it’s been that quiet.

In Australia, things are looking much healthier.

The books have been opened on logistics software company WiseTech Global, which is planning an IPO. Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley are behind a A$220 million ($166 million) raising ahead of a stock exchange listing later this month.

Based on the data, analysts are predicting WiseTech will list at around A$2.75 a share – which is low- to mid-range of valuation, the Australian reports.

The company’s market cap is worth between A$763 million and $1.08 billion and many Australian fundies are said to be spooked by this valuation. However, the Australian’s DataRoom reports that a few US funds are keen to inject cash.

An IPO of online design marketplace Redbubble is also coming up in Australia, and the company is seeking to raise A$50 million.

Over in Europe where telco consolidation is underway, there’s been a setback of sorts.

Orange has abandoned its bid to buy Bouygues’ phone business.

According to Bouygues, the key sticking points included social guarantees for its employees, the level of its stake in Orange and related governance and execution risk, Bloomberg reported.

Essentially, it all proved too complex to pull off.

In India, Vodafone is said to be choosing investment banks to arrange the IPO of its Indian wireless business. Nice gig considering the offering could value Vodafone’s Indian operations at about $20 billion.

Speaking of phones, Apple is hitting a few hurdles in India. Its second attempt to sell used iPhones in the country is being resisted by government and industry who fear it will open the gates to electronic waste. It also flies in the face of the government’s policy advocating local manufacturing.

Apple holds less than 2% of the mobile phone market in India, where the majority of handsets cost less than $150.

And in investment banking news, funky tech is the new vibe. Just ask Goldman Sachs New York.

CEO Lloyd Blankfein says he wants Goldman to be thought of as a tech company and to cut its culture of secrecy and a reliance on backroom dealings.

It’s an attempt to compete for talent with the likes of Facebook and Google and a moving of the balance of power from the trading desks to the back room programmers and engineers as banking comes to rely more heavily on software rather than (actual) bankers.

Don’t need to tell us here at ansarada. Geeks rule.


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