IMHO, they would want to proceed with a non-hostile bid. And if that's the case, from a negotiation point of view, they have to make themselves appear somewhat indifferent. Why else would they meet with pe firms to line up funding and then let someone else acquire a 20% stake?
Let's pretend for a minute that Softbank and Alibaba are really willing to pay $25 Billion for the whole thing just to get the stakes in their companies back, while the US pe firms takeover the rest of yahoo.
Well, if the minority stake way proceeds instead, some in the media have indicated that Softbank and Alibaba could regain their stakes in a tax free (to Yahoo) transaction. Obviously there would have to be a discount in this transaction for not including Yahoo. What would that discount be from $25 Billion?
Trying to answer this is difficult due to the ridiculous way that yahoo is proceeding to try to carve this thing up, when IMHO they could sell the whole thing without carving it up.
Thanks, I would add being the last bidder is tricky.
If they wait too long, then another deal could close and their potential future company gets stuck with a break up fee.
I think they're probably asking Yahoo: "Tell us what you would want for the company." That would seem to be the best way to get the best deal, rather than revealing what they are willing to pay.
And if Yahoo doesn't give them a realistic number, then they have to go hostile, if they want the company. I would find it very hard for the board to reject a good bid, as long as the pe firms figured out a way to keep Yahoo core in American hands.