Can Icahn take on the Yahoo board and win?

Can Icahn take on the Yahoo board and win?

And, if he does, can he woo Microsoft back to the negotiating table?

However, the authors said Microsoft hasn't agreed to entertain a deal, so Icahn may have some selling to do to persuade the software company to give Yahoo a second look.

"We suspect they'll listen - why wouldn't they?" the blog stated, "But we doubt they'll be willing to pay more than US$33 [per share]."

Dana Gardner, an analyst at Interarbor Solutions, said if anyone could take over Yahoo's board, Icahn could.

"In the great world of what ifs, Carl Icahn has been successful in taking over companies. He's made a career of it," Gardner said. And although Icahn might not always win, he knows how to get things done and he has the financial wherewithal to make things happen, he added.

"He's a real mover and shaker when it comes to takeovers," Gardner said. "He probably also sees a very interesting opportunity to make a whole lot of money in a fairly short amount of time, so he must have some inkling that there will be a buyer, either Microsoft or another company, for Yahoo if the Yahoo ownership and its board of directors are willing. Carl Icahn and his team have a great record of getting control of companies and [if they got control of Yahoo] what he'd do with that company would be probably be to sell it to the highest bidder."

According to, Icahn has initiated 18 proxy fights since 1994, including Motorola and Time Warner. Of those, he has won one outright, had eight concessions and one split for a total of 10 wins out of 18 proxy fights.

"Icahn has three decades worth of experience in proxy battles - some he has won, some he has lost, but he certainly knows the drill," said IDC analyst Caroline Dangson in a research note. "Most recently, Icahn was in the news for arguably forcing Motorola to split into two independent companies in order to unlock shareholder value. Time Warner resisted Icahn for a long time but had to agree to a few of his demands in order for Icahn to give up the proxy fight. Another reason Icahn also gave up the fight in this case is because large institutional investors for Time Warner did not back his plan. Of course, Time Warner's board of directors elected to replace CEO Richard Parsons last November."

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