It looks like the day has nearly come: The final bids for Yahoo‘s assets are due on Monday (July 18), according to unnamed inside sources. A decision from the firm’s board is expected shortly thereafter. Yahoo is slated to announce its quarterly earnings after the close of markets on Monday, and some are speculating the decision could be announced that early.
The final race seems to be down to Verizon, AT&T, a few private equity firms and a consortium led by Quicken Loans Founder Dan Gilbert (backed financially by Warren Buffett). The price ranges are fairly wide — earlier bids were estimated between $3.5 billion and $5 billion — but it seems increasingly likely that the price could rise as high as $6 billion, depending on what assets are up for grabs.
The favored frontrunner currently is Verizon, who believe that the combined acquisitions of Yahoo and AOL will give it the size necessary to be an active competitor with Facebook and Google in the mobile data arena.
“They can place unique identifiers that have a tremendous amount of information on where you surf all the demographics of the family,” an advertising executive said.
Following the sale of assets, Yahoo itself will be little more than a stock holding company, with a 15 percent share of Alibaba worth about $30 billion and a 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan worth about $8.7 billion.