Microsoft will reportedly help other companies purchase Yahoo

Microsoft once tried and failed to buy Yahoo outright in 2008. Now the company is reportedly in talks with some private equity firms to help them financially with their own bids to purchase Yahoo.

Re/code reports that Microsoft's talks with possible Yahoo buyers are in the early stages. The idea on Microsoft's side is that it wants to keep the current solid working relationship with Yahoo with whomever buys the company. Microsoft still has a multi-year deal with Yahoo to provide a large portion of their search engine results via Bing:

"Preserving its current status is important to Microsoft, said sources, which is why it has been mulling the financing of possible Yahoo buyers, who will have to come up with billions of dollars in cash to be competitive. "If Microsoft put in a billion, it would cost them almost nothing," said one investor who had spoken to the company. "It's a minor thing and it buys them a lot."

Yahoo announced in February that it was "exploring additional strategic alternatives" which is business lingo for "We are up for sale." However, Re/code says there is some doubt that Yahoo will go through with any acquisition deal as the company's board of directors has not made much headway in the process. Also, there are reports Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer does not want to sell off the company and instead favors continuing with her own efforts to turn Yahoo around.

John Callaham