Yahoo, Under Fire from Investors, Takes Steps for Possible Sale

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Yahoo! President and CEO Marissa Mayer. Ethan Miller / Getty Images, file

Under pressure from impatient investors, Yahoo took steps on Friday to handle the possible sale of parts of the struggling Internet company.

Yahoo shares jumped after the company announced its board has formed a committee of independent directors to explore strategic alternatives. This signaled Yahoo is open to selling its core business including search, mail and news sites, rather than spin it off as previously planned.

Yahoo advisers started working on the sale process on Friday, people familiar with the matter said. The step followed more than three years of effort by CEO Marissa Mayer to turn around Yahoo, focusing on mobile apps and trying to boost advertising revenue.

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Despite her efforts, revenue has dipped since she took the helm in July 2012.

Yahoo shares rose 2.26 percent to $30.09 in midday trading.

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The announcement came as activist investors appeared to be preparing for a possible proxy fight for control of the board.

Starboard, which owns about 0.75 percent of Yahoo, has been pushing for changes since 2014, asking it to separate its Asian assets and sell the core business.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that Starboard was taking initial steps toward a potential proxy fight.