Microsoft appears to have renewed interest in buying up the troubled Yahoo. According to the New York Times, a source briefed on the matter says that Microsoft has signed a nondisclosure agreement with Yahoo in order to join private equity firms Silver Lake, TPG Capital, and others in taking a closer look at Yahoo’s books.
The move to acquire Yahoo would help Microsoft secure its existing search and advertising deal with the floundering search pioneer, which currently sells advertising using Bing as its primary search. Microsoft had unsuccessfully attempted to buy Yahoo back in 2008 with a bid of as much as $47.5 billion and last month began talks with other potential partners about another possible bid.
Other interested parties include TPG, which has signed an NDA but is considering making a minority investment rather than buying Yahoo outright. The Alibaba Group, which Yahoo owns 40% stake, has also been in talks about bidding for Yahoo, but has not yet signed an NDA.
Since Yahoo ousted former CEO Carol Bartz in early September, the company’s board has been mulling over its next step. It’s said to be considering several options, including selling the company’s Asian assets, such as its stake in the Alibaba Group, or auctioning off the company entirely instead of hiring a new CEO.