Would Yahoo Buy the Business Insider?

May 14, 2012
J. Webster
Comments Off on Would Yahoo Buy the Business Insider?

While Yahoo’s stock has suffered over the last four or five years, it still remains one of the most popular destinations on the web. It’s not going away or anything. It’s not dead yet.

However, it may need to make some acquisitions in the content area to continue to succeed and grab all those eyeballs for advertisers. It’s biggest mistake for share holders was passing on Microsoft’s offer of nearly $40 a share about five years ago. Yet maybe the new Yahoo CEO, Ross Levinsohn, can change the game and build Yahoo’s clout back up by focusing on some content based purchases.

24/7 Wall St. has identified the most likely targets in the event Yahoo! goes down that path. On their list is Business Insider. This would be a fantastic purchase as long as they could keep Joe Weisenthal with the company:

Business Insider – Yahoo! already has an affiliation with Business Insider, the fastest growing large business and financial site over the last four years. 24/7 Wall St. estimated BI revenue for 2011 at just above $10 million, and valued the company at $45 million. Its ongoing growth takes that valuation up by $5 million to $10 million, which would raise the purchase price to $50 million to $55 million. Business Insider, which has 3.1 million unique visitors a month according to Compete, could be married with Yahoo! Finance, the largest finance website in the US, as a means to give Yahoo! more original programming. (24/7 Wall St.)

Yet I’m wondering if Yahoo would buy a company who’s creator had a bit of trouble with the SEC some years ago. Especially when you consider all the trouble Yahoo’s had with a CEO saying he had a computer science degree when he didn’t. Don’t think they’d won’t to make any missteps that could bring the critics out of the woodwork – critics being unhappy shareholders or hedge fund managers. They might want to ask activist shareholder Dan Loeb of Third Point before they do anything.

Henry Blodget, the owner and creator of the Business Insider, when he worked as an analyst at Merrill Lynch during the dot com boom, was publicly saying certain Internet related stocks were good while privately saying they were terrible. Blodget was permanently banned from the securities industry and had to pay a $2 million fine plus a $2 million disgorgement fee.

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