News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch has ruled out renewing any discussions to help Yahoo! Inc. fend off a possible takeover attempt by Microsoft Corp.
"We're not interested in Yahoo," Murdoch told reporters Friday at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., will probably fail in any attempt to buy Yahoo, he said.
News Corp. and Yahoo were in talks about a combination to block an unsolicited takeover offer from Microsoft, a person familiar with the discussions said in February. Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, said this month it may revive its bid if investors back Carl Icahn's effort to oust Yahoo's board and Chief Executive Officer Jerry Yang.
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, and Yang, the founder of Yahoo, attended the retreat.
Gordon Crawford, a fund manager at Capital Research Global Investors, is angry he wasn't able to sell his stock for $33 a share, Murdoch said after meeting with the fund manager. Asked if Crawford would have sold at that price, Murdoch said, "In a flash."
Crawford declined to comment.
Capital Group Cos. is Yahoo's largest investor, with a stake of about 16 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Capital Research holds about 6.5 percent.
Capital Group also owns about 149 million Class A shares of News Corp., according to Bloomberg data.
Mario Gabelli, holder of 2.2 million Yahoo shares as of March 31, said in an interview that Microsoft's offer may appeal to investors now that U.S. stocks are tumbling.
Murdoch predicted Microsoft won't be successful in its efforts to buy Yahoo because of ill will between the executives.
"There won't be a deal," Murdoch said. "In six months, they will walk away."