2 Big Names Join Forces in Bid to Buy Yahoo

Quicken Loans founder/Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and Warren Buffett
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2016 8:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – The second round of bidding for Yahoo is underway, and a couple of bidders are getting an outsize amount of attention: what the New York Times terms the "unusual" pairing of Quicken Loans founder/Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and Warren Buffett. (Though maybe not so unusual: CNBC reports the two men have been good friends since 2012, when Gilbert signed on to Buffett and Bill Gates' Giving Pledge.) In comments to CNBC, Buffett indicated Gilbert is steering the ship here, saying, "Yahoo is not the type of thing I'd ever be an equity partner in. I don't know the business and wouldn't know how to evaluate it, but if Dan needed financing, with proper terms and protections, [Berkshire Hathaway] would be a possible financing help."

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Berkshire Hathaway took on a similar financing role in 3G Capital's takeovers of Heinz and Kraft. Reuters, which first reported news of the pairing on Friday, talks to analysts about what a successful bid by Gilbert and Buffett could mean. One line of speculation: that Berkshire director Susan Decker, a former president of Yahoo, could recommend rehiring some past Yahoo execs. Also reportedly in the second round: Verizon, and private equity firms TPG Capital and Bain Capital/Vista Equity Partners. (Read more Yahoo stories.)

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