Yahoo To Jump On Alibaba IPO

    October 9, 2007

When Alibaba holds its IPO, Yahoo will be first in line, and the search engine company will reportedly have enough cash in hand to buy 10 percent of the available shares.

We last touched on Alibaba’s IPO about two months ago; at the time, it remained unknown if the offering would even take place.  Now the company has gotten permission to list itself on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and this additional piece of the puzzle – who might want to buy it – has become clear.

“Clear” is a relative term, though.  Loren Baker details the incestuous relationship between several corporations.

Yahoo already owns 40% of Alibaba, and Alibaba owns 100% of Yahoo China… which can get complicated.

To make everything a bit more complicated, the company which owns most of and Yahoo China, is Yahoo Japan.

Yahoo Japan’s parent company, Softbank, which owns Yahoo Japan, Overture Japan and Vodafone Japan, also used to control most of Yahoo Europe and Yahoo Korea, before the company bought those properties from Softbank.

Apologies if you’re now in need of an aspirin.  But like you probably did, Yahoo seems to have seen the need for simplification, and its move on Alibaba is just the latest in a series of steps to reclaim its properties.

This move may, by the way, cost Yahoo something in the neighborhood of $100 million.