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Yahoo!'s planned sell-off of its core business may not end up bringing the cash return investors had hoped for.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reports that Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web is receiving bids of around $2-3bn on its core business, significantly less than the $4-8bn Yahoo! had originally hoped to net in the sale.

Yahoo! has been open to bids for its core business, including its search and content network, since February, when shareholders forced the company to pursue the sale rather than simply sell off its stake in Alibaba.

Companies rumored to be interested in making a bid to acquire Yahoo include Verizon/Aol,Google and The Daily Mail, though apparently none of those companies are willing to do so at Yahoo's asking price.

El Reg maintains a standing offer of $3 and a pack of chips.

The sale of the core business comes after years of failed turnaround efforts under CEO Marissa Mayer. Mayer has not been able to resurrect Yahoo's glory days and reverse a string of falling revenues at the one-time search engine king. In its last financial quarter, Yahoo said that it lost $98m.

Don't feel too bad for Mayer, though. Yahoo has said that once the sale goes through, she stands to cash in on a $55m buyout package. ®

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