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Insiders: Yahoo Sale Needs to Move Fast, or More Losses Are Coming

Who’s the buyer? Ex-News Corp. mogul Peter Chernin is one possibility — so is Marc Andreessen

I ran into Ross Levinsohn, the chief content dog at Yahoo, now without a boss to speak of, on the street today.

How are things at Yahoo without Carol Bartz, I could not resist asking?

“It’s interesting,” he allowed, dressed in a casual white polo shirt and umbilically attached to his earbuds.

That’s about all he would say, probably because Levinsohn is no dummy.

He knows the company which he sits astride is damaged goods, and a sale of the giant web portal is now considered inevitable.

Also read: Yahoo Under Siege: As Hedge-Fund Raider Closes In, Founders Hint at Sale

It also needs to happen fast. I’m hearing within the next two months. A buyer will likely be a private equity investor with a vision to replace the board and top management, once the Asian assets are gone.

Ex-News Corp. mogul Peter Chernin is one possibility. Chernin has yet to make a big play since leaving Rupert behind, and knows and likes Levinsohn.

Another big possibility may be investor and tech guru Marc Andreessen, through his venture firm Andreessen Horowitz.  

Other names are the usual suspects of the space — private equity firms Silver Lake, Providence Equity and the like.

If a sale doesn’t happen quickly, Yahoo will settle into quick decline. All that talent that Levinsohn has assembled (and probably Levinsohn himself) will undoubtedly decamp to greener pastures.

Don’t be surprised if people are prepping their resumes even now.

The word among investors and analysts is that Yahoo will be split into two parts; the valuable Asian assets – Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan – will be divested.

How much will the remaining company be worth? (And no, it’s not zero, as some have suggested.)

One individual I spoke to said somewhere between $7 billion to $10 billion.

Yahoo stock closed down today, closing at 14.54. Watch. This. Space.