Private equity firms could snag control of Yahoo without full buyout

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Yahoo is pitching private equity firms on a plan to effectively gain control of the company without having to buy it outright.

The proposed plan would have a private equity firm buy up to 20% of the company, which would become a much larger stake after a stock buyback, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.

Yahoo co-founders Jerry Yang and David Filo own nearly 10% of the company. Their share of the company could combine a private equity stake to create an ownership block that would control 40% to 45% of the company after a stock buyback, the sources said. That would give the private equity firm control of the company without having to pay nearly $19 billion for it.

The sources said it was still too early to make a decision and this was one of several options being discussed.

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