Yahoo Inc is discussing a plan to slash its stakes in China’s Alibaba Group and a Japanese affiliate in a complex deal worth roughly $17 billion, sources familiar with the matter said.
The deal — the latest proposals put forth in recent months to resuscitate the once high-flying Internet company — is expected to be considered by Yahoo’s board on Thursday, one of the sources said.
The board was uninterested in entertaining offers for the entire company at this point, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added.
Yahoo’s increasing difficulty in competing with Internet heavyweights such as Google Inc and Facebook have forced it to explore proposals to revamp its business. The former Internet powerhouse, which fired its chief executive Carol Bartz in September, has a market value of around $18.5 billion.
The company’s board has come under fire from prominent shareholders for its seeming lack of movement and for putting its own interests ahead of those of shareholders.
Alibaba chief Jack Ma has said several times he would like to buy back Yahoo’s stake in his company, one of Asia’s largest Internet corporations. Investors have long said Yahoo’s investment in Alibaba, along with its 35% slice of Yahoo Japan, are far and away the US company’s most prized assets.