Alibaba in talks to buy back Microsoft-threatened Yahoo! stake

Chinese e-commerce firm, Alibaba, is in late-stage talks with investors to buy back the 39% company stake owned by Yahoo!, reports the Wall Street Journal. Alibaba, which runs Yahoo! China, has hired Deutsche Bank and law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, for advice says people close to the matter. The move marks an effort by Alibaba to gain independence from Microsoft in the event of its successful Yahoo! takeover, and comes as a blow to Microsoft. Yahoo!’s strength in China and Japan is reportedly a key factor in its ongoing Yahoo! takeover effort.

Yahoo! bought its stake in Alibaba in Oct 2005. The agreement between the two firms gives Alibaba a “right of first offer”. In the case of a Microsoft offer this means the Yahoo! stake must first be offered to Alibaba shareholders before it is transferred to Microsoft. Alibaba is reportedly concerned that Microsoft’s management will destroy its image as a Chinese company.

Alibaba has a wide number of online and business interests, including – a B2B business trading platform. Results announced this week showed that’s net profit went up 340% to reach USD136.3 in the fiscal year ending Dec 31 2007.

Published by Reinout te Brake

Reinout is a games investor and strategic business consultant specializing in the games industry. Reinout established his credentials through his own successful investments, start-ups, consulting and (advisory) board positions that led through time to strong bonds with key stakeholders in this fast paced industry. He is known for his outstanding results in the gaming industry. He has worked with many game studios around the globe and is therefore well known in the international gaming industry. Check out his games podcast;

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