The group behind popular tabloid The Daily Mail has confirmed that it is preparing to make a bid for one-time search giant Yahoo following the continued decline of the company's finances.
Founded by a pair of Stanford students in 1994 as Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web then relaunched in 1995 as the somewhat more memorable Yahoo - a backronym for Yet Another Hierarchically Organized Oracle - Jerry Yang and David Filo's company was one of the world leaders in internet search, despite using a hierarchical directory format rather than a free-text search system, through the mid to late 90s. During the dot-com era the company's web portal was the most popular home page around and the company was making money hand-over-fist, but the burst of the bubble hurt the company badly. In 2000, the company abandoned its own search platform in favour of returning results from more successful rival Google, and looked to reinvent itself over the following years: its news and media services took on new focus, and in 2013 - despite continued losses - the company acquired blogging site Tumblr for $1.1 billion.
In 2008, Microsoft offered $44.6 billion to acquire the company and was rejected by Yahoo's board of directors. In the time since, a period of growth has led to a precipitous cliff: its latest financial report saw the 12,500-strong company admit to a $4.74 billion loss on revenue of $4.96 billion, and while its $45.2 billion in assets mean it's not likely to be bankrupt any time soon the company is known to be actively courting buyers - including, it has been confirmed, The Daily Mail.
In a confirmed report by the Wall Street Journal
, Daily Mail & General Trust PLC, the company behind the eponymous tabloid, is said to be looking to partner with private equity firms to pick up Yahoo. Its news and media divisions would then be taken over by the Daily Mail to bolster its own digital efforts, while its unnamed partners would take over other sections of the site such as its blogging and photography platforms Tumblr and Flickr.
The media group will be competing for Yahoo with around 40 other interested parties, including AOL parent Verizon. Thus far, no bids have been publicly disclosed.