Japan's SoftBank has been touted as a potential buyer of Yahoo's Internet business in a report from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Citing sources familiar with the matter, the publication had earlier reported that Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) is considering a sale of its main business after failing repeatedly to revive its fortunes.
According to unnamed analysts, that business could attract interest from SoftBank Corp. , one of Japan's three main telecom service providers.
SoftBank is keen to focus more on investments in overseas and Internet ventures and could see value in Yahoo's assets and expertise. But turning around the ailing web player would be a daunting challenge.
SoftBank, which already controls US wireless carrier Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), declined to provide a comment to the WSJ on the latest speculation.
One potential barrier to a deal could be Yahoo's 35% stake in Yahoo Japan and its 15% stake in China's Alibaba Group .
SoftBank also owns 32% of Alibaba and 43% of Yahoo Japan and CEO Masayoshi Son has indicated he would prefer to remain a minority shareholder in both.
But Yahoo's board may be considering a spin-off of the Chinese and Japanese investments, paving the way to a deal with SoftBank.
Earlier this year, SoftBank hired former Google executive Nikesh Arora to take charge of investments in overseas Internet ventures, although he appears to have been focusing on startups in Asia.
For more, see:
- SoftBank's Son Names Arora New President
- SoftBank Turns to SDN for VPN Upgrade
- SoftBank Ups Stake in Sprint – Again
- SoftBank & Ericsson Plot 5G Trials in Japan
- SoftBank Pumps $20M Into Ad Analytics Startup
— Iain Morris, , News Editor, Light Reading