In a talk at Stanford University, Alibaba CEO and chairman Jack Ma said, “We are very, very interested” in buying Yahoo, lock, stock and barrel.
According to All Things D, the executive also stated, “We are very interested in Yahoo. Our Alibaba group is important to Yahoo, and Yahoo is important to us… All the serious buyers interested in Yahoo have talked to us.”
Alibaba, founded in 1998, is a large, privately owned group of web-based businesses and is based in China. The group is perhaps best known for its online marketplaces for business-to-business international and domestic trade. The Alibaba group also includes retail and payment platforms, a shopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing services.
All told, the Alibaba Group employs more than 22,000 people in around 70 cities and regions. It has offices around the world, including in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, India, the UK and the United States. Currently, Yahoo owns a 40 percent stake in Alibaba.com, one part of the group.
Calling Alibaba “a crocodile in the Yangtze,” Ma said that he was interested in buying the whole of Yahoo — a complicated undertaking if ever there was one.
Yahoo was said earlier this month to be in merger or acquisition talks with Aol. Both companies have been struggling in the public eye and market. Reportedly, Aol CEO Tim Armstrong was dealing with representatives of Allen & Co., one of the firms working with Yahoo.
Yahoo’s position has been increasingly unstable since the dramatic firing of former CEO Carol Bartz, a decision that had the company’s leadership in limbo as it also searched for new advisers.
Back in August 2005, Yahoo announced an agreement to form a long-term strategic partnership with Alibaba Group in China. Under the terms of the agreement, Yahoo gave its Yahoo China business to Alibaba.com, and the two companies worked together to grow the Yahoo brand in China. Their goal was to create China’s largest web property.
Also, Yahoo invested $1 billion in cash to purchase Alibaba.com shares, giving Yahoo a 40 percent economic interest with 35 percent voting rights, making it the largest strategic investor in Alibaba.com.