Report: Yahoo plans sale of Japan assets

Struggling Internet giant looking to rid its stake in Yahoo Japan, valued at US$21 billion, as it is easily and quickly disposable with limited strategic appeal to the main business, report notes.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Yahoo is looking to cash out its 35 percent stake in Yahoo Japan in a bid to reduce complexity regarding the beleaguered Web company's future, the Financial Times (FT) reported.

According to the news agency's Thursday report, Yahoo is moving closer to selling off its Japanese business, which has a total market value of about US$19 billion and net cash of US$2 billion, as it waits for the U.S. tax authorities to give guidance on a structure the company could cash in on its holding.

Citing people familiar with the matter, FT stated the asset is something the company can dispose of quickly and has "limited strategic appeal", thus simplifying its alternatives for the mid- to long-term future.

The unnamed sources added the transaction may happen ahead of the conclusion of the broader strategic review concurrently conducted and advised by Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co, estimated to occur "within weeks". There is also a chance the Yahoo Japan deal will not take place, they added.

Yahoo was not able to comment by press time.

The news comes on the heels of reported interest from Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba, to acquire Yahoo in its entirety.

Last Saturday, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma said he was "very interested" in buying the U.S. Web giant, who fired its former CEO Carol Bartz in September amid stagnant growth and shrinking market share. Yahoo owns 40 percent of the Chinese company's shares, according to an earlier ZDNet Asia report.

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