Alibaba Group, the Chinese Internet company partowned by Yahoo Inc, has
hired advisers to evaluate issues related to a possible purchase of its U.S.
partner by Microsoft Corp after the Chinese government said it would scrutinize
the deal, the Wall Street Journal said Friday.
Alibaba executives believe Microsoft will succeed in its bid for Yahoo, and has
hired lawyers and financial advisers to evaluate issues related to a possible
deal key among them, how Alibaba could increase managements control in areas
such as board composition and voting rights, the Journal said on its Website.
The plan by Alibaba management flows from concerns about how the Chinese
government would view a combination of Microsoft and Yahoo if the software
giants bid for the U.S. Internet company is successful, the report said.
Microsoft on Jan. 31 made an unsolicited offer for Yahoo then valued at $44.6
billion, or $31 a share which Yahoos board this week rejected.
Alibaba has already been contacted by Chinese regulators seeking information on
how it could be affected by a Microsoft purchase, the Journal said.
Yahoo owns 39 percent of Alibaba, which runs its Chinese operation as well as
several other Web businesses, including Alibaba.com Ltd, Chinas largest listed
The stake makes Yahoo the Chinese companys largest shareholder, but Alibabas
management led by founder Jack Ma has retained effective control over its
Alibaba executives are concerned that a possible acquisition of Yahoo by
Microsoft, a much bigger company with a tradition of more handson management,
could cast doubt on its independence, the Journal said.
Alibabas fourmember board currently includes one Yahoo representative, Chief
Executive Jerry Yang.
Another major shareholder in Alibaba is Japans Softbank Corp, which owns about
30 percent of the Chinese company. Softbank is also partners with Yahoo in Yahoo
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