SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc's board will meet on Sunday to vote on whether to offer $1.1 billion in cash for New York-based blogging service Tumblr, tech blog AllThingsD cited sources close to the situation as saying on Friday.
Such an acquisition would be CEO Marissa Mayer's largest deal since taking the helm of the once-iconic Internet company in July 2012. Yahoo is keen on Tumblr because its younger user base would enhance the older website's "cool factor," the technology blog cited the sources as saying.
The news could be announced as soon as Monday, it said. Yahoo has invited press to an event in Manhattan at which it promised to "share something special," without elaborating.
Mayer, who spent 13 years at Google Inc, is trying to revitalize a former Internet powerhouse that in recent years has struggled with declining business. On its home page, Tumblr says it hosts 108 million blogs, with 50.7 billion posts between them.
Yahoo declined to comment, while Tumblr did not respond to requests for comment.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Target Corp said on Friday it opened a new San Francisco office to track down technology companies that can help the second-largest U.S. retailer grow its online commerce business.
Target's Technology Innovation Center is run by David Newman, an executive who spent six years at the online business of Wal-Mart Stores Inc , which has had a major presence in Silicon Valley for several years.
"Partnership is in our DNA and early-stage companies can sense that and are proving to be very willing to partner and co-develop," said Newman.
Many retailers are pouring money into new technology to help them catch up with Amazon.com Inc , which has become the world's largest retailer by grabbing market share from traditional bricks-and-mortar stores.
Mobile commerce, powered by smartphone-wielding shoppers, is a particular focus of retailers because this technology has the potential to revitalize in-store sales.
Target's San Francisco office will focus on "core commerce" initiatives, such as speeding up the company's website. However, it also aims to bring more digital shopping experiences into the retailer's physical stores through smartphones, Newman said.
One area Target is exploring is "augmented reality," which uses smartphone cameras to give shoppers a digital view of store aisles and show them related products, Newman said.
That technology is still a long way off, but Newman noted that Target is already working with eBay Inc and Google Inc , two Silicon Valley giants, on same-day delivery tests.
Target also recently began testing a service that allows its employees to order products online and pick them up in the retailer's stores. The company plans to roll this out to customers this Fall.
Wal-Mart's e-commerce offices, south of San Francisco, have churned out a slew of new online and mobile technology in recent years and these efforts might be showing early signs of success.
First-quarter e-commerce sales jumped 30 percent from a year earlier, Wal-Mart reported earlier this week.
"The company seems to be gaining traction in several geographies with different technologies such as Scan & Go, Ship from Store and increased mobile capabilities," Robert Drbul, a retail analyst at Barclays, wrote in a note to investors on Thursday.
(Reporting by Alistair Barr. Editing by Andre Grenon)
ZUG, Switzerland (Reuters) - Transocean Ltd shareholders voted out Chairman Michael Talbert at the annual meeting on Friday and backed a nominee of activist investor Carl Icahn to replace him on the board of the world's largest offshore drilling contractor.
But shareholders rejected Icahn's proposed $4-per-share dividend and opted instead for the board-supported payout of $2.24 per share, the Switzerland-based company said.
Transocean shares closed down 1.3 percent to $54.03 on the New York Stock Exchange. The Swiss shares closed 1.4 percent higher.
Icahn, after disclosing his 5.6 percent Transocean stake in January, campaigned to shake up the board and extract a higher dividend that Transocean called "unsustainable," while offering the $2.24 per share in response.
Icahn and Transocean spent the past few months making their cases to investors by attacking the others' director nominees and strategic plans. Transocean viewed the near-80 percent shareholder support for its dividend, and the backing for its two directors up for re-election besides Talbert, as a vote in its favor.
"Their approval of the company's dividend and board nominees is an endorsement of our balanced approach to value creation which includes maintaining a flexible balance sheet characterized by an investment grade rating on our debt; making disciplined, high-return investments in the business; and returning excess capital to our shareholders," Transocean said.
Transocean introduced its first regular dividend in nine years in 2011, but decided to halt it while working through the prolonged legal process to determine liability for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill, which involved one of its rigs.
Icahn's dividend proposal received the support of 35 percent of the shareholders.
Talbert, who Transocean had said would step down this year no matter what, received 48.8 percent of the shareholder votes. Talbert had aimed to stay on while the board found a successor, the company said on Monday.
Talbert's exit marks another victory for investors targeting the bosses of big energy companies. Last Friday, John Hess was stripped of his chairman duties at Hess Corp , just a week after Occidental Petroleum Corp Chairman Ray Irani was voted out after two decades at the top.
Irani submitted his resignation to Occidental's board on Friday.
The new Transocean director is Sam Merksamer, 32, a former hedge fund analyst and now a managing director of Icahn Capital. He is a director at Icahn-controlled refiner CVR Energy and a former director at utility Dynegy Inc .
Shareholders voted 69 percent in favor of Merksamer, despite Transocean calling him "inexperienced" and questioning whether he had time for Transocean given that he sits on five public company boards and has a full-time position at Icahn Capital.
"We believe that the shareholders have today sent an unequivocal and vocal message to the incumbent directors and management, by voting out the chairman, that immediate discipline must be brought to all fiscal and capital allocation decisions," Icahn said in a statement.
"We expect that the newly constituted board will take prompt action to deliver that sorely needed change."
Icahn had proposed two other board candidates to replace Thomas Cason and Robert Sprague, but Cason got 74 percent support from shareholders and Sprague received 56 percent.
Cason had been a director at GlobalSantaFe before its 2007 takeover by Transocean. Icahn had called the merger ill-advised.
Transocean responded by saying its investors enjoyed a 23 percent total shareholder return in the year after the GlobalSantaFe deal, compared with 11 percent for peers, before its shares were hit by the financial crisis and then the Gulf of Mexico disaster.
Transocean's stock has fallen 66 percent over the past five years, versus a 34 percent drop for Noble Corp and a 9 percent slide for Ensco . Seadrill , which aggressively built rigs to upgrade its fleet, is up 54 percent in that time.
(Reporting by Alice Baghdjian in Zug; Writing by Braden Reddall; Editing by John Wallace, Tim Dobbyn and Carol Bishopric)