Could SoftBank Buy Yahoo?

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.

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— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

Kruz 12/18/2015 | 4:45:15 AM
Re: For sale: 1998 Buick It needs to have an ecosystem to stay relevant and regain back its glory.. and with the current leaders(Android and iOS), it is not an easy task.

mendyk 12/15/2015 | 9:46:52 AM
Re: For sale: 1998 Buick Everybody and everything has a lifespan. Like AOL and Netscape, Yahoo was a potent force in the Internet 1.0 era. It's not a matter of a turnaround but of turn back the clock, and that is not going to happen. That said, the Yahoo brand will probably hang on for years, much the way vinyl records never went completely away.
Kruz 12/15/2015 | 7:59:38 AM
Re: For sale: 1998 Buick It is sad to see this happening to Yahoo. I am not sure if more time should be given to Marissa in her trunaround or it is time for new blood to be injected.
kq4ym 12/14/2015 | 7:49:24 PM
Re: For sale: 1998 Buick It's been interesting watching Yahoo for what seems forever. I'm sure I was logged in to their email service early on but haven't used it actively for almost a decade. What value others might place on a price tag will be a real hummer. A buyer is going to have to be pretty clever to make something out of it..."turning around the ailing web player would be a daunting challenge" as observed by many.
KBode 12/3/2015 | 4:40:52 PM
Re: For sale: 1998 Buick Yeah I was reading a few of those takes earlier and wouldn't disagree. There's just not a whole lot there to work with outside of a webmail portal that's been uninteresting for the better part of a decade.
mendyk 12/3/2015 | 4:39:01 PM
Re: For sale: 1998 Buick Some experts who've parsed this out put the value of Yahoo at about zero, after you account for its stock holdings in Alibaba and one or two other companies. That sounds harsh and unfair, but that's the arithmetic derived from the current share price.
KBode 12/3/2015 | 4:25:46 PM
Re: For sale: 1998 Buick I don't think so. I'm not sure what the appeal is here, and I'm not sure telcos (AT&T and Verizon are rumored to be in play) with a history of struggling with innovative ideas are the ones to turn the Yahoo ship around. Perhaps Verizon could acquire simply to expand the footprint of their stealth header ad technology?
mendyk 12/3/2015 | 9:22:22 AM
For sale: 1998 Buick If AOL found a willing buyer, anything is possible. But at least AOL had some reportedly innovative ad technology that has value. Does Yahoo have anything like that?
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