Yet More Reports Of DST, Alibaba And Silver Lake Swarming Over Yahoo
Not a new development, but further confirmation that there may be one on the horizon. China’s Alibaba, Russian investor Digital Sky Technologies and U.S.-based VC firm Silver Lake are preparing a joint offer to buy Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), according to reports.
The story, which appeared today on Bloomberg, says that the three have already contacted Yahoo and its advisers.
Bloomberg cited three unnamed people close to the situation as sources for its story. AllThingsD also named the three companies in a list of potential bidders in a post two weeks ago.
Alibaba’s chairman Jack Ma has made no secret of his interest in Yahoo: the two companies are already tied up in China, where Yahoo owns a 40-percent stake in the e-commerce giant. The report today speculates that Alibaba’s interest might partly be down to Ma wanting to get back complete control of his own company.
But that’s not the only pre-existing tie between these four companies. Silver Lake and DST are also currently investing in Alibaba—that deal, for an undisclosed amount, also includes Chinese VC, Yunfeng Capital, as well as Singapore’s Temasek as investors. The investment was announced last month and is currently closing.
Another source noted that Silver Lake’s hope would be to sell off all of Yahoo’s Asian assets (it also has an Internet JV with Softbank in Japan) in order to focus the business better in the U.S. for a potential buyer.
If these three actually end up buying Yahoo, it could catapult the company—which has seen better days and has found it a challenge competing against Google (NSDQ: GOOG) in search and its main revenue driver, online advertising—into potentially different tie-ups with a new set of companies. Silver Lake counts Groupon, Skype and Zynga among its investments (the Skype stake is currently being sold to Microsoft; (NSDQ: MSFT) that deal has not closed). Meanwhile, DST also invests in Groupon and Zynga, as well as being a large stakeholder in Facebook and Spotify.