Alibaba 'very interested' in acquiring Yahoo

Chinese e-commerce giant expresses strong interest in buying over U.S. Internet company, but discussions hitting snags over political, not financial, issues, report states.

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has expressed strong interest in acquiring Internet company Yahoo but points out that negotiations are hitting snags over political issues. Other parties are also eyeing the deal.

Bloomberg reported on Saturday that Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma said he was "very interested" in buying Yahoo, who fired its former CEO Carol Bartz in September amid stagnant growth and shrinking market share. The U.S. Web giant owns 40 percent of the Chinese company's shares.

"We are very interested in Yahoo because our Alibaba Group is so important to Yahoo, and Yahoo is also very important to us," Ma said. "There are so many people who are interested in [our plans to buy Yahoo], and we are also talking to them."

That said, the CEO pointed out that discussions were proving more complicated than he initially expected due to snags over "political issues" rather than financial ones. Yahoo executives earlier revealed that its advisors fielded inquiries from "multiple parties" interested in various deals with the company.

Commenting on the possible deal, Brett Harris, an analyst at Gabelli & Co, told Bloomberg that Ma's existing relationship with Yahoo might give him an edge over potential suitors.

"It would make sense for Alibaba to be involved because they own such a large stake. Yahoo investors at this point are so disillusioned that they would welcome any buyer," Harris stated.

Yahoo declined to comment on Ma's statement, according to Bloomberg.