Valuing Yahoo! in 2013
In late July 2013, Danielle Engle, Managing Director of Clairemont Capital, was contemplating what to do about a large investment her fund had in the stock of Yahoo! Inc. In mid-2012, Clairemont had invested nearly $75M in Yahoo! after the tech company settled a highly visible proxy fight with prolific activist investor Daniel Loeb of hedge fund Third Point. Since that time, Loeb and his colleagues had joined the board, the company had hired a new CEO and the stock price was up nearly 80% - increasing the value of Clairemont's investment by $60M in less than a year. But Yahoo! had just announced an agreement to buy back two-thirds of Third Point's stake in the company. It had also announced that Loeb and two other company directors appointed at his request would step down from the board. At the same time, Alibaba, the giant Chinese e-commerce company of which Yahoo! owned a sizable stake, was widely expected to go public in the near future. What should Clairemont Capital do with its investment in Yahoo! in response to this news? This case provides students with opportunities to discuss shareholder activism, the interaction between a company growth strategy and business model and its valuation, discounted cash-flow valuation analysis, multiples valuation, transaction-based valuation, and company valuation by parts.