BALTIMORE, July 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Bill Miller, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Legg Mason Capital Management (NYSE: LM), has released the following statement:
"Legg Mason Capital Management, on behalf of its clients, is the beneficial owner of approximately 60.7 million shares of Yahoo!, representing 4.4% of the outstanding shares of the company.
At Yahoo!'s August 1, 2008 Annual Meeting, shareholders will vote to elect the entire Board of the company. Two competing slates of directors have been nominated -- one slate put forth by the company's current Board and one by investor Carl Icahn. After consideration of the relevant facts and circumstances and our fiduciary duty to our clients, it is our intention to vote in favor of the slate of directors proposed by the current Board.
We have met with representatives of the current Board and management, including founder Jerry Yang, several times. We believe the current Board acted with care and diligence when evaluating Microsoft's offers. We believe the Board is independent and focused on value creation for long-term shareholders.
In general, we believe it is appropriate for large shareholders to have representation on corporate boards if they so desire. Mr. Icahn's slate includes people experienced in technology, advertising, capital markets and governance. We would prefer that the company and Mr. Icahn reach a mutual agreement on the composition of the Board and end this disruptive proxy contest.
Mr. Icahn has said that Steve Ballmer has made it clear to Mr. Icahn that Microsoft cannot negotiate a transaction with the current Board of Yahoo! but would negotiate with a new Board led by Mr. Icahn. While boards are there to protect shareholder interests, shareholders own the company. If Microsoft wants to acquire Yahoo!, it can make the terms and conditions of its offer public. If Yahoo! shareholders support it, I am confident the Board of Yahoo! will accept it."
About Legg Mason
Legg Mason is a global asset management firm, with $950 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2008. The Company provides active asset management in many major investment centers throughout the world. Legg Mason is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, and its common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: LM).
SOURCE Legg Mason