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Icahn to launch proxy fight against Yahoo

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Billionaire investor Carl Icahn will proceed with his plan to replace Yahoo's entire board in an effort to force the company to reopen merger negotiations with Microsoft, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

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Icahn was said to have been mulling the idea earlier this week. He has reportedly bought as many as 50 million Yahoo shares since Microsoft gave up on the deal.

Other large investors have also expressed their dismay with Yahoo leaders over the end of the discussions with Microsoft. Together, the investors could unseat all of Yahoo's board, since all 10 members are up for re-election this year. Stock owners will vote on the new board members in July at Yahoo's shareholders' meeting.

One potential problem with Icahn's plan is that even if he manages to replace the board, Microsoft has not indicated that it is willing to return to the negotiating table. Since it pulled the offer, Microsoft has said that it has moved on and plans to boost its online search business mainly through internal efforts.

Microsoft announced its US$44.6 billion bid for Yahoo on Feb. 1 but walked away from the deal three months later, on May 3, saying the companies couldn't agree on a price. Microsoft's last offer was for $33 per share, or about $5 billion more than its original offer, but Yahoo wanted $37 per share.

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