There has not been all that much fresh coverage of the rumor, reported earlier this week, that Microsoft may acquire Yell Group, the U.K.-based international publisher with operations in the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain and Latin America. We have not been able to pick up much to support the rumor, though circumstances might suggest that Yell is poised to make some kind of significant move to generate cash without further driving down its share price. The company took a hit after it announced its earnings last week (along with a dividend cut), and gained a little back on the Microsoft rumor. At this writing, the stock is trading down by about 2 percent.
Here is a bit more discussion on ClickZ regarding the rumor that Microsoft may acquire Yell. The focus here is on Yellowbook.com, which has been a second tier player in the U.S. IYP space, but has recently revamped and is growing usage rapidly, albeit from a small base. One key difference is the veteran leadership of Pat Marshall, who helped found Superpages.com back in the IYP pioneer days, and joined Yell last year to lead efforts to make Yellowbook.com a more competitive digital platform.
This article reports on a recent BNP Paribas report that suggests Yell might sell off its U.S. and Latin American operations (with Carlos Slim’s Telmex being the likely buyer of the latter) to avoid violating debt covenants. No mention is made of the prospects of a Microsoft acquisition.
This article reveals, ironically enough, that Yell and Microsoft were both voted into the top 10 U.K. companies to work for.