Yahoo! is apparently considering making some drastic changes, reports the New York Times. So, this week, the company’s board members will decide in a big meeting weather or not they will sell stakes in Asian assets to their majority owners. What are the assets you might wonder?
Well, there’s the stake in China’s Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan which is owned mostly by Softbank. If the deals goes through, Yahoo could land a $17 billion check, reports the Times apparently citing some sources very familiar with the situation. Why is Yahoo! considering doing this? It’s not very clear at the moment. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that Yahoo! faces a lot of difficulty in competing with fresher or younger companies such as Google or Facebook. Maybe, the company was thus forced to explore other ideas in order to refresh their take on things.
The company, who just fired its chief executive Carol Bartz in September, is worth about $18.5 billion. Yahoo! has been offered proposals by other private firms who wanted to buy a minority stake in Yahoo!, but those proposals were brutally axed by the larger shareholders, including fund manager Dan Leob. Rumors about Yahoo being up for sale still didn’t disappear.
Yahoo! and Alibaba and Softbank have been linked ever since 2005, but for most of the time their relationships has been very tense. In summer, Alibaba agreed on a deal with Alipay, an online payment company, without clear approval from Yahoo! or Softbank.