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Yahoo! hands Icahn board seat, ends battle

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Microhoo! Yahoo! and Carl Icahn have agreed to settle their differences and call off their proxy battle for control of the company.

Icahn had proposed an alternative slate of directors and called on shareholders to vote in his favour at a general meeting 1 August. The bazillionaire greenmailer wanted to take control of the board in order to sell Yahoo! to Microsoft.

Under today's accord, he gets a seat on the board alongside two nominees from his original list of eight plus Jonathan Miller, former CEO of AOL. The two extra directors will be chosen by Yahoo!'s governance committee.

The board will expand to 11 people - Roy Bostock, Ronald Burkle, Eric Hippeau, Vyomesh Joshi, Arthur Kern, Mary Agnes Wilderotter, Gary Wilson and Jerry Yang all stay on the board.

As part of the deal Carl Icahn, who owns just under five per cent of Yahoo!'s shares, agrees to vote in favour of the Board's nominees and withdraw his alternative slate of directors.

Icahn hailed the settlement: "While I continue to believe that the sale of the whole company or the sale of its search business in the right transaction must be given full consideration, I share the view that Yahoo!'s valuable collection of assets positions it well to continue expanding its online leadership and enhancing returns to stockholders."

How the two sides will achieve a friendly working relationship remains to be seen. The regular exchange of letters between each side has become increasingly vituperative and personal in recent weeks.

Yahoo! chairman Roy Bostock thanked Robert Kostick, who is stepping down from the board to concentrate his job as CEO of Activision Blizzard.

For all our Microhoo! coverage head here. ®

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