It has been predicted that Yahoo will not place its 15% Alibaba holding in a separate company, and instead focus on its core business. However, this could include selling off most of Yahoo, which has sparked interest from Verizon to acquire these assets if they are for sale.
McAdam, Chief of communications at Verizon, has been reported saying that Yahoo’s assets would fit together well with recently acquired internet company AOL, but highlighted that there was no deal in place.
Speculation has been sparked further with Fran Shammo, Chief of Communications for Verizon, indicating he is open to the idea of acquiring Yahoo.
“If we see there is a strategic fit and it makes sense for our shareholders and we can return value, we’ll look at it. But at this point it’s way too premature to talk about. All I can say is we don’t know what Yahoo’s board will decide. It’s too early to know.”
The decision to not use the stakes in a separate company has led to criticism for Yahoo’s chief Marissa Mayer, who was brought in to turn round Yahoo’s fortunes.
However, experts say that the decision was one made by the company’s board and not Mayer herself – who was apparently against the decision entirely.
The spin-off was seen as a way to produce a lot of money for Yahoo’s shareholders, but the move was put to a stop after discovering it would result in a tax bill of $10bn.
Yahoo has undergone a lot of change recently – primarily to reduce costs. It announced that it will close its research and development centre in China, as well as shutting down their smartphone app, Blink.
Yahoo has been in decline since its advertising business was comfortably beaten by rivals Google and Facebook. It has acquired video advertising service ‘BrightRoll’ and app analytics ‘Flurry’, but they have yet to implement any sort of turnaround with Mayer at the helm.
The company’s revenue is dwindling on the same level as when she arrived and many of her initiatives haven’t made an impact.
The decision to sell its stake in Alibaba may be the final nail in the coffin for Mayer – and may also spell the end for Yahoo if they do not find an able replacement.