Come big, come small or don’t come at all

Contact:Scott Denne

In addition to a spirited defense of her tenure at Yahoo during this week’s earnings call, CEO Marissa Mayer laid out in detail the company’s acquisition strategy: buy big or buy small, no middle ground.

According to The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase, Yahoo has bought 46 companies since Mayer’s tenure began in July 2012, and all but eight of them have been pure talent acquisitions. On the call, the company said it has spent $1.6bn on those deals, with just two, Tumblr and Flurry, accounting for $1.3bn of that (Tumblr alone was $1.1bn). Only six other transactions brought Yahoo any tech or products.

The massive amount of talent tuck-ins (most of which are obviously in the single-digit millions or less) is a stark departure from the previous decade of Yahoo M&A, when the company purchased only 47 companies at a median price tag of $88.5m.

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