Yahoo to Scrap Alibaba Stake Spinoff, CNBC Reports

Will Yahoo’s Alibaba Spinoff Mean Defeat for Mayer?

Yahoo! Inc. will scrap its long-planned spinoff of its stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., CNBC reported, a response to mounting pressure from investors who have grown tired of waiting for a turnaround in the Web portal’s main businesses.

The Sunnyvale, California-based company will instead consider a deal for its Web businesses, as well as the spinoff of its stake in Yahoo Japan Corp., the television channel said, without citing sources. Yahoo shares rose as much as 3.8 percent after the report.

Yahoo’s board convened last week to consider options for the company’s future, including whether to press ahead with the spinoff after it faced questions about the tax implications for investors, or to possibly seek a buyer for its Internet operations such as search, advertising and media content.

The reversal of the plan, announced in January, would be an admission of defeat for Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer, who was brought aboard in 2012 to revitalize the once-dominant Internet brand, yet has struggled to find the right strategy to return the company to growth. With sales hovering around 2006 levels, investors’ patience has begun to wane, and activist shareholder Starboard Value LP last month called for the company to drop the spinoff and instead seek to sell off its Web businesses -- or risk a proxy fight.

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