Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Gamble, but What if He Wins? - New York Times

One take-away from this article: it's now likely up to Google or Microsoft, winner takes all (of Yahoo), and of course there's a very low probability, given Google's already dominant search market share, that it would be allowed to acquire Yahoo.  Press F9, and the answer is... a very risky scenario for Carl Icahn, if Microsoft opts to not put an offer back on the table.

Whatever the case, his role in Yahoo is not just like any other shareholder. He’s gambling that Microsoft will inevitably come back to buy Yahoo — and if it doesn’t, that he will be able to use his special brand of influence to make it.

Understanding Mr. Icahn’s thinking is not that complicated: “I’m a pragmatic guy,” he told me during our dinner, about the way he invests. “I believe in rationality,” he added. Unlike Warren Buffett, he’s not looking to make 10-year bets. He’s looking for a catalyst — something that will move the stock price. And he doesn’t care about understanding the intricacies of the business. His great talent is for smelling blood in the water first. “I used to be a poker player,” he said. “I play the odds.”

A Gamble, but What if He Wins? - New York Times

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