Alibaba said to be prepping bid for all of Yahoo

The Chinese Internet company is reportedly partnering with Softbank, Blackstone Group, and Bain Capital to acquire all of Yahoo.

Yahoo's Chinese Internet partner Alibaba--in which Yahoo still owns a 40 percent stake--is preparing a bid to buy all of the Web giant, according to Bloomberg.

The news service reported that Alibaba and Softbank are in "advanced talks" with the Blackstone Group and Bain Capital to put together a bid for all of Yahoo. Bloomberg cited "three people with knowledge of the matter" as sources.

While a handful of bidders have stepped forward to buy minority piece of Yahoo, which is apparently the company's preference, Alibaba appears to be aiming to acquire all of Yahoo. A group led by Silver Lake has reportedly bid $16.60 for a minority stake in Yahoo, while TPG Capital is said to be offering $1 more a share.

It's unclear how much Alibaba would pay, though Bloomberg reports that it would be higher than the Silver Lake or TPG bids.

Alibaba chief executive Jack Ma tipped his interest in acquiring Yahoo in October in a speech at Stanford University. He's long been interested in convincing Yahoo's board to sell back the stake it owns in Alibaba. They've been loathe to do so since it represents, by some accounts, a third of Yahoo's value.

Under the scenario reported by Bloomberg, the Alibaba bid might split the company. Alibaba would get its stake back, while Softbank would take Yahoo's 35 percent stake in Yahoo Japan. And then Blackstone and Bain would take over of Yahoo's U.S. operations, according to the report.

About the author

Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).

 

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