T. Boone Pickens on Yahoo

May 27, 2008: 10:15 AM ET

By Todd Woody

NEW YORK - T. Boone Pickens dropped by Fortune to chat with the magazine's editors and writers and naturally Yahoo came up. The billionaire oilman has bought 10 million Yahoo shares and is backing Carl Icahn's bid to oust the Internet company's board in the aftermath of the failed (so far) deal with Microsoft.

"I'm just coat-tailing Carl on that," said Pickens, who celebrated his 80th birthday last Thursday. He said he had not discussed Yahoo with Icahn before buying up Yahoo (YHOO) stock. "I didn't talk to Carl. Hell, I can't even write an e-mail," said Pickens.

"I'm not even sure what Yahoo does," he added.

We're not quite buying that but we're pretty sure the legendary dealmaker knows an opportunity to make some money when he sees it. According to Pickens, after Microsoft (MSFT) walked away from its $47.5 billion bid on May 3, he called his office and asked what Yahoo was trading for. "When they said around $21, I said buy 1 million shares but they misheard me and bought 10 million," he said, pausing a beat before cracking a smile.

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