Warren Buffett, the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B), is willing to help finance Dan Gilbert’s bid for Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO).
Gilbert is the founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans, one of the largest online retail mortgage lender in the United States. He is also the owner of Cleveland Cavaliers, a team in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Buffet and Gilbert are close friends. Gilbert joined the Giving Pledge, an initiative that encourages wealthiest individuals and families around the world to donate majority of their fortune to charity. Buffett and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) founder Bill Gates established the Giving Pledge.
In 2014, Berkshire Hathaway insured the $1 billion price offered by Quicken Loans to any person who would successfully select the perfect “March Madness” bracket for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCA).
On Friday, Reuters reported that Buffett is supporting a consortium of investors including Gilbert, in their bid to acquire the internet assets of Yahoo. A related report from Re/code indicated that former senior Yahoo executives Dan Rosensweig and Tim Cadogan are giving advice to Gilbert on a potential transaction with the technology company.
Buffett will provide financing with proper terms & protection
In a statement to CNBC on Monday, Buffett said, “I’m an enormous admirer of Dan and what he has accomplished in Quicken Loans. Yahoo is not the type of thing I’d ever be an equity partner in. I don’t know the business and wouldn’t know how to evaluate it, but if Dan needed financing, with proper terms and protections, we would be a possible financing help.”
Buffett also told CNBC that Yahoo Finance did a terrific job” live streaming the annual shareholders meeting of Berkshire Hathaway on April 30. It was the first time for the conglomerate to allow its meeting to be streamed online.
In a previous interview with CNBC, the billionaire investors commented that Yahoo’s business deteriorated significantly and “something has to change” within the company.
Yahoo is struggling to gain significant market share in online advertising, which is dominated by Google and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). The company is implementing a strategic plan to drive growth.