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  • busy26795 busy26795 Oct 4, 2011 4:42 PM Flag

    Yahoo Prepares Info for Possible Buyers WSJ

    Yahoo preps financial information to potential buyers, WSJ reports
    Yahoo (YHOO) is preparing to send financial information to private-equity firms, potential bidders and partners, reports the Wall Street Journal. According to people familiar with the matter, Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co. will send a package about public and non-public data on the company's growth and revenue projections

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    .smaller Larger By ANUPREETA DAS And GINA CHON
    Yahoo Inc. is preparing to send financial information to potential buyers in the coming days, signaling the Internet company's willingness to run a sale process for all or parts of Yahoo, people familiar with the matter said.

    Long-time Yahoo banker Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Allen & Co., which is assisting Yahoo's board in a strategic review, are expected to send out some financial highlights to private-equity firms, other potential bidders and potential partners, the people said. The information package will stop short of a traditional "book" but will contain select public and non-public data on Yahoo's growth and revenue projections, they added.

    Last month, several Yahoo board members informed employees in a memo that the company's financial advisers were "fielding inquires from multiple parties that have already expressed interest in a number of potential options."

    Yahoo last month ousted its chief executive and is undergoing a strategic review to determine the best course of action for the company, which has been hit by competition from rivals such as Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. Yahoo's board is evaluating alternatives including selling assets or striking partnerships, and is also proceeding with a CEO search, people familiar with the matter have said.

    The interest from potential buyers and partners is one factor spurring Yahoo's board to authorize its bankers to share financial information, the people said. The financial data being prepared could help potential partners assess whether content or advertising tie-ups are feasible, they said.

    Several private-equity firms are working with advisers to assess the value of Yahoo's assets, though it is unclear how many parties will actually put in a bid.

    Last week, Jack Ma, the chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Corp. said he's "very interested" in buying all of Yahoo. However, Mr. Ma has not yet approached Yahoo to discuss an offer, the people said.

    Technology bankers said they expect bidders to team up and make offers for different parts of Yahoo's business, rather than bid for the entire company. For instance, private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners is talking with various interested parties, from Alibaba to rival buyout firms, about joining forces, but hasn't decided whether it will bid or with whom, one person familiar with the matter said.

    Earlier this month, Silver Lake, Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies and others disclosed a planned $1.6 billion investment in Alibaba, of which Yahoo owns 40%. Mr. Ma has made no secret of the fact that he would like to buy back the stake.

    The Yahoo stake in Alibaba has been a hurdle for Yahoo in figuring out its future, partly because the partnership has been rocky one. Yet the company cannot easily sell the stake, mainly because it would incur a heavy tax bill. The new investment in Alibaba would value Yahoo's Alibaba stake at almost $13 billion.

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