Yahoo’s board will hold meetings this week where members are expected to discuss whether to seek a buyer for the company’s core business of online properties, proceed with a plan to spin off billions of dollars worth of Alibaba shares or both, the Wall Street Journal reports. Yahoo shares were down 7% in after-hours trading.
Citing sources, WSJ said the board will hold a series of meetings Wednesday through Friday that ultimately could decide the fate of the troubled company run by CEO Marissa Mayer. The paper’s sources said private-equity firms are expected to be among those taking a look at Yahoo’s core business, but there is no guarantee that a deal will happen. But in a potentially telling move, one Yahoo exec recently canceled a planned appearance at a Credit Suisse investment confab planned for today.
Yahoo has been under investor pressure for much of the year to show improvement under Mayer. Last month, it missed analyst projections for third-quarter earnings, but it forged a deal with Google to help with ad sales. WSJ noted that much of the value of Yahoo’s $31 billion market cap is tied up in two large Asian assets: a 15% stake in China’s Alibaba worth about $32B and 35% of Yahoo Japan worth roughly $8.5 billion. Yahoo’s cash and short-term investments totaled $5.9 billion at the end of the third quarter.
The news comes weeks after Yahoo became the first company to offer a free live stream of an NFL regular-season game. Execs said they were very happy with the global audience of more than 15.2 million viewers and 33.6 million total views across all devices on Yahoo and Tumblr. But earlier that week, company officials said during an earnings call that Yahoo took a $42 million write-down in its video division, citing the revived Community along with fellow original series Sin City Saints and Other Space.