Yahoo to repurchase 40 million shares for $1.16 billion

All of them are owned by U.S. hedge fund Third Point. The price: $29.11 per share.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor
Photo illustration: Andrew Nusca

Yahoo's recent buying spree under chief executive Marissa Mayer isn't limited to just startups.

The U.S. tech company announced this morning that it will repurchase 40 million shares of its common stock, all owned by Third Point, a New York hedge fund.

The price: $29.11 per share, the closing price of the company's common stock on July 19. In total, it's a purchase totaling more than a billion dollars.

The deal leaves Third Point with 20 million shares, less than two percent of the company's outstanding stock, and three fewer board members: Daniel Loeb, Harry Wilson, and Michael Wolf have submitted their resignations from Yahoo's board of directors, to be effective July 31, leaving just seven members.

In a statement, Loeb suggested his work helping stabilize Yahoo was done: "Since our board's rigorous search led us to hire Marissa Mayer as CEO, Yahoo's stock price has nearly doubled, delivering significant value for shareholders," he said. Loeb famously pushed out former CEO Scott Thompson for lying about a university degree he did not have in favor of Ross Levinsohn.

When Mayer was named chief executive, Yahoo's stock was trading at about $15.60 per share. It is now trading at nearly $28 per share. As Nathan Vardi points out at Forbes, Loeb began purchasing Yahoo shares in August 2011 when they were just $13 each; today's sale more than doubles his original investment.

Yahoo's stock price since Marissa Mayer was named chief executive.

The company's stock was down 4.4 percent, to 27.83, after the announcement of the stock repurchase.

Yahoo had previously announced its plan to purchase an additional $1.9 billion of its common stock; during its second quarter earnings announced a week ago, it revealed that it bought back 25 million shares for $653 million.

This deal—funded with mostly cash—is part of that effort, leaving $700 million to go. "The company plans to continue to execute" on that goal, it said.

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