Yahoo going ahead with Alibaba spinoff plan regardless of IRS changes

Yahoo asserted a new IRS policy -- described to apply to transactions similar to the one involving the Alibaba investment -- would not actually apply retroactively.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Yahoo is moving full steam ahead with its plans to spin off its Alibaba investment into a separate entity despite some recent qualms over at the Internal Revenue Service.

The search giant elaborated in a new Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, outlining a timeline of back-and-forth rulings and new policies instilled by the IRS and U.S. Department of the Treasury that would seemingly affect -- if not derail -- the proposal.

However, Yahoo countered in today's filing that the formal "no-rule" policy -- applying to transactions said to be similar to the one Yahoo is conducting -- established by the IRS on September 14 would not actually apply retroactively.

Thus, Yahoo's board of directors voted last week to move ahead with the original plans

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company announced in July that the new publicly traded investment company will be known as Aabaco Holdings, Inc.

The spinoff previously known as SpinCo will incorporate all of Yahoo Small Business as well as 15 percent (roughly 384 million shares) of Alibaba Group.

All outstanding shares of Aabaco Holdings will be doled out to Yahoo shareholders.

When the spinoff was first announced in January, those millions of Alibaba shares translated to roughly $40 billion with the promise the valuation would be bumped up to $50 billion when the deal is done.

The Small Business department, responsible for helping SMBs get their businesses online, was folded into the spinoff plans in February.

After the split, Yahoo and Aabaco plan to operate independently, and neither will have ownership interest in the other.

The spinoff is expected to be a huge cash windfall for Yahoo, although it is questionable how and where Yahoo will deploy its new resources.

Nevertheless, the search company will still have its core business along with a 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan.

Yahoo reiterated in Monday's filing that it expects the deal to wrap up during the fourth quarter of 2015.

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