The Federal Trade Commission reported today it has given billionaire investor Carl Icahn the go-ahead to purchase large blocks of Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) stock.
The FTC, which routinely looks at large stock purchases, said the moves were approved in a listing that it puts out several times a week.
In mid-May, Icahn launched a campaign to replace Yahoo’s board with new directors that would reopen buyout talks with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), saying the board had acted “irrationally” in refusing the software giant’s bid.
“It is quite obvious that Microsoft’s bid of $33 per share is a superior alternative to Yahoo’s prospects on a stand-alone basis,” Icahn wrote in an open letter to Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock.
Microsoft walked away from its sweetened $47.5 billion offer for the Internet company earlier this month.
Microsoft had initiated an unsolicited bid
originally worth around $44.6 billion at the end of January, which Yahoo rejected as insufficient.
In his letter, Icahn listed the 10 rival directors whom he hopes to see elected at Yahoo’s annual shareholder meeting on July 3. The new directors, who would attempt to reopen talks with Microsoft, include Frank Biondi, the former head of Universal Studios and Viacom, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Icahn’s partner Keith Meister and Icahn himself.
Icahn concluded, “I sincerely hope you heed the wishes of your shareholders and move expeditiously to negotiate a merger with Microsoft, thereby making a proxy fight unnecessary.”