Yahoo Talks with Asian Partners Break Down


Yahoo has reached an impasse in negotiations with its partners from Asia – with talks breaking down, according to news reports.

All Things D reported “sources close to the situation” called it “a potentially deal-breaking impasse.” Disagreements were reportedly about sales price and how the deal should be achieved. Yahoo was trying to sell both Yahoo Japan and its shares in the Alibaba Group.

The possible deal valued Yahoo’s stake in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan at about $17 billion. That money would be very useful for Yahoo given everything the company is going through right now.

In addition, the breakdown in talks comes shortly after Yahoo got a new CEO, Scott Thompson, and had a shake-up on its board of directors. In a recent letter, Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock said he was stepping down from the company’s board along with three other directors – Vyomesh Joshi, Arthur Kern and Gary Wilson. The letter also informed shareholders the company is “in active discussions with our partners in Asia regarding the possibility of restructuring our holdings in Alibaba Group and Yahoo! Japan.”

TechZone360 reported Bostock decided to leave the post because of “continued shareholder frustration with his performance.” “It was time for him to leave the scene,” Sameet Sinha, a B.Riley & Co. analyst, was quoted by TechZone360.

In addition, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang stepped down in January. Yang and Bostock failed to take advantage of selling Yahoo to Microsoft for $33 per share, TechZone360 reported. The stock is trading far lower now, and was trading at $15.63 a share as of Feb. 8, TechZone360 said.

Yahoo also appears in rough shape when compared to a company like Facebook which is soon to have an IPO. Also, Facebook’s revenue jumped 88 percent during 2011 but Yahoo’s revenue dropped 20 percent during the same 12 months, TechZone360 said.

Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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