Deals

Alibaba suspends public trading to buy back its stock from Yahoo

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has suspended public trading of its shares in Hong Kong as it prepares to buy back its 40 percent stake held by Yahoo.

The transaction is said to be worth between $10 billion and $11.5 billion.

In a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange, Alibaba representatives said the company would be releasing a statement today that would be “potentially price sensitive.”

Late last year, Alibaba began rounding up the financing to buy back its shares; the amount was rumored to be around $4 billion and is now said by sources close to the matter to be closer to $3 billion.

Yahoo is also expected to release its shares in Japanese powerhouse SoftBank as well as in Yahoo Japan. In exchange for all these Asian assets combined, Yahoo is likely to see one-time gains between $17 billion and $18 billion.

In its most recent earnings call, Yahoo showed revenues down 24 percent year over year — a fact that likely makes the company more amenable to the sale of its Alibaba stock.

In the recent past, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma (pictured) has stated that he wanted to buy all of Yahoo, lock, stock, and barrel. The company even retained the services of cross-border acquisitions specialty firm the Duberstein Group, likely to that end.

“We are very interested in Yahoo,” Ma said at the time. “Our Alibaba group is important to Yahoo, and Yahoo is important to us … All the serious buyers interested in Yahoo have talked to us.”

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