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Alibaba-Yahoo Negotiations Resume – Taobao Staff Arrested in Graft Case

According to media reports, China’s largest e-commerce company Alibaba Group has once again begun to negotiate with Yahoo to buy back 15% – 25% of the 40% stake which Yahoo currently holds. A previous attempt in February this year to arrange a US$17 billion tax-free asset swap failed to materialize.

Yahoo’s CEO Scott Thompson disclosed during the company’s Q1 earnings conference call that the two parties involved were working on a “simplified” transaction to monetize a portion of Yahoo’s stake in Alibaba.

Media reports in September 2011 valued the Alibaba Group at US$32 billion when private equity firms including Silver Lake invested in the company. According to that valuation, Yahoo could be paid US$4.8 billion to US$8 billion through selling a 15% to 25% stake in Alibaba back to the company.

In a separate report, Alibaba’s B2C e-commerce platform, Taobao, has reportedly been hit by an internal fraud scheme. The company disclosed that a number of Taobao employees have been arrested for taking bribes to delete negative comments about certain online merchants and raising the merchants’ credit ratings. Nine online stores of the vendors involved have been shut down.

Source:   Business Strategies Group Hong Kong

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