Yahoo Considers Getting Out Of The Internet Business

Yahoo, one of the few remaining old guard Internet biggies still standing, has been trying to reinvigorate its business in the last few years, even spending oodles of cash in an effort to stake claims in the streaming video and daily fantasy sports markets. But so far, consumers have responded with a shrug and the company’s stock price has continued to fall since the beginning of 2015. That’s why the Yahoo board will reportedly be looking into the possibility of getting out of this whole “Internet” thing.

This is according to the Wall Street Journal’s “people familiar with the plans,” who say the Yahoo board is going to weigh the option of selling of the company’s many online properties, possibly to private equity firms.

Some Yahoo investors had previously pushed for a merger with AOL, but that option went “poof” earlier this year when Verizon acquired that other web 1.0 relic for $4.4 billion. Before that, there was talk of an acquisition by Microsoft that never came to fruition.

The most enticing piece of Yahoo’s business is its 15% stake in Chinese e-commerce biggie Alibaba. That investment alone is estimated at being worth around $32 billion, many times the estimated value of Yahoo’s core Internet business.

Yahoo has been planning to spin off this Alibaba stake at the beginning of 2016, but activist investors at Starboard Value have publicly called on the company to halt that spinoff — and look to sell the Internet businesses — because of uncertainty about whether the Alibaba deal would incur billions of dollars in taxes.