The End of the Road for Yahoo?

Once-giant tech firm Yahoo has seen its brand slump and its fortunes founder, as a new generation of nimbler web companies have consumed its market share. Sensing blood in the water, several bidders have contacted the company, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal that mentioned private equity firm Silver Lake Partners as just one.

Other reports suggest many suitors are pursuing the company -- seeking to buy not the Yahoo brand but parts of the tech behemoth.

Would that mean the end of Yahoo altogether? No more Yahooligans?

"It probably would," technology analyst Ben Bajarin with Creative Strategies told Given the competition the company faces and the changing business landscape, those bidders are best off seeking bits of the Yahoo puzzle, rather than the whole smorgasbord, he said.

"It was hard to look forward and say they were going to be relevant … The wisest thing to do would be to sell off the pieces."

Yahoo has built or acquired numerous disparate elements over the years -- bookmarking site, image-sharing site Flickr, and so on -- that many consumers don't necessarily connect to the Yahoo brand anyway, Bajarin noted.

"A lot of consumers might know Flickr but don't associate that with Yahoo," he told

Those individual assets are definitely valuable, agreed Rob Enderle, a leading technology analyst with the Enderle Group. And they definitely don't connect effectively.

"There's too many parts of Yahoo that came up under different leadership and don’t mesh well enough together -- this one won't be easy," Enderle said. But the Yahoo brand and what it represents is worth more as a cohesive unit than as parts, he said.

Those whole brand is worth saving after all, he told

"I'm not so sure what it's going to be worth in parts … You either try to make it work or you sell the brand and go home."

Yahoo thinks change isn't around the corner: The company has signaled to potential suitors that it isn't under pressure to make a deal quickly, a person familiar with the situation told the Wall Street Journal.

Analysts tend to disagree, telling the exact opposite: Change is imminent and necessary.

"It clearly can't continue on the way it is," Enderle said.