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Matt Levine

Yahoo Is Looking for a New Way Around Alibaba Taxes

That's considerably more important than anything else it can do with its business.

Let's start with some dumb Yahoo math:

The left-hand column of numbers there is the obvious big embarrassment: Yahoo owns $32.6 billion worth of Alibaba stock and $8.7 billion worth of Yahoo Japan stock, it has $6.8 billion worth of cash and marketable securities, and it has only $1.4 billion of debt. Yet somehow when you add it all up, Yahoo is worth only $33.8 billion. If you just solve for the missing number, you are forced to conclude that Yahoo's actual core business of being Yahoo (and Tumblr and whatever) is worth negative $13 billion.