Yahoo’s board has reportedly decided to not move forward with spinning off its stake of Alibaba and is instead looking to part ways with its core business. The move has resulted in a more than 2 percent jump in the price of the company’s shares in after-hours trading.
According to CNBC, Yahoo will look to possibly sell off its core business, but that is something observers and pundits believe does not have real value when you take away Alibaba and other equity interests.
Much has been said about the company over the past few weeks leading up to this meeting, including whether chief executive Marissa Mayer would wind up keeping her job. But perhaps the biggest elephant in the room was what the board would decide to do with its 15 percent holdings in Alibaba, estimated to be worth around $32 billion.
The decision to part with Alibaba left some questions unanswered; specifically, the Internal Revenue Service didn’t rule on whether Yahoo could face a tax issue when putting its stake in Aabaco, the new name of the spinoff company filled with Alibaba and Yahoo Small Business.
Yahoo had been pressured in the past by activist investors from Starboard to spin off Alibaba, saying that it would be a “good first step,” but months later, Starboard recanted and demanded that Alibaba remain a part of Yahoo. As a result, the firm sought to push Yahoo to sell its core business instead.
It looks like Starboard has convinced the Yahoo board to follow through on its latest plan. Speculation over who would be a possible buyer for Yahoo’s business has already started, with Verizon chief financial officer Fran Shammo saying this weekend that his company “could be tempted to buy Yahoo.”