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Yahoo takeover set to turn nasty via MS plot

Microsoft's now thought to be targeting Yahoo's board of directors

Microsoft has upped the ante in its bid to acquire Yahoo, if a report from the New York Times is to be believed. After its initial offer of a 67 per cent premium on Yahoo's stock price was rejected, Microsoft is now thought to be targeting the company's board of directors.

According to the New York Times, Microsoft will attempt to gain the support of institutional investors and other large shareholders that share Microsoft's ambition to acquire the online firm. It is believed that Microsoft will do everything in its legal power to influence the election of new officers to the board this year.

Stock acquisition off table

The report also suggests that Microsoft is not interested in outright acquisition of Yahoo stock. The online firm has a 'poison pill' stipulation in its Corporate Charter that says any existing shareholder has the right to acquire additional shares if an outside investor acquires more than 15 per cent of outstanding shares.

This stipulation effectively dilutes the would-be acquirer's control over the company.

So far, neither company has commented on the Times report but, if true, look for quite a bit more on this story as it progresses.