After years of mortifying missteps, Yahoo Inc. finally has something to boast about: a multibillion-dollar windfall from a savvy investment in China.
Yahoo is selling half of its roughly 40 percent stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., one of the most successful companies in China’s rapidly growing Internet market. The $7.1 billion price ensures that Yahoo will get a hefty return from its $1 billion investment in Alibaba in 2005.
The deal, coming a week after Yahoo’s CEO abruptly resigned over misstatements in his official biography, will provide more financial firepower for the latest regime trying to turn around the long-struggling Internet company. It came after more than two years of negotiations on how Yahoo will sell the stake.
Alibaba started out in 1999 as a business-to-business website linking factories in China to buyers around the world. It grew into a company that’s larger than Yahoo, with more than 25,000 employees working at a wide range of websites and online services.
Alibaba’s portfolio includes Taobao.com, China’s version of eBay, and TMall, which brand owners can use to sell directly to consumers. Alibaba also runs a search engine for shoppers and an online payment service.
Things have been going so well at Alibaba that it now accounts for a large portion of Yahoo’s earnings.
While Yahoo has profited from the Alibaba investment, Yahoo’s stock price has plunged by more than 55 percent since the company invested in Alibaba. Read More