Flickr may be up for sale as Yahoo Board of Directors looks to shed web properties
The future of Yahoo and its many operations, including the photo sharing behemoth Flickr, is uncertain. According to reports, the company's board is now accepting bids for its web properties, with a deadline of two weeks to submit proposals.
While Yahoo has not specifically said which operations are up for sale, they have given hints to what a new, slimmed-down Yahoo might look like. According to Reuters, if the board's restructure goes through as planned, Yahoo will center around Yahoo Search, Mail and Tumblr, as well as four 'digital content strongholds,' which include News, Sports, Finance and Lifestyle.
This seems to indicate that at least according the company's board, Flickr has no place in the future of Yahoo. But not so fast - there are several other factors at play that could put the kibosh on a sale altogether.
One of these factors is an attempted hostile takeover of Yahoo's board by activist investor Starboard Value. Many shareholders, unhappy with financial results, have run out of patience with the current boards plan to turn Yahoo around. This is where Starboard Value comes in. Last Thursday, they announced their intent to overthrow CEO Marissa Mayer, and presented a list of nine alternative board members to replace the current board at the annual shareholder meeting in June.
If Yahoo is unable to get the ball rolling on sales of its assets before June, there's a chance that a new board will be ushered in, and move the company in a different direction entirely.
On the other hand, more than 40 companies have expressed interest in owning a piece of Yahoo, including Microsoft, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Time and many more. Whether or not any of those companies specifically have an interest in Flickr is difficult to say. As of June 2015, Flickr had a formidable 112 million active users. That's not quite the 400 million users Instagram claims to have, but its still a sizable community. For the record, Flickr was first purchased by Yahoo back in 2005, for $25 million.
All the while, Mayer is sticking to her plan for turning around the company, which includes laying off 15 percent of the company's workforce, closing unprofitable ventures, all while spinning off Yahoo's stake in Alibaba Group as well as Yahoo Japan into a separate company.
Needless to say, if you're in the market for a photo sharing site, now's the time to bust out the checkbook and make an offer. We just hope if Flickr does make its way into new hands that it goes to a good home.