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Thursday, 24 November 2011 13:40

Jack Ma: buy Alibaba out of Yahoo! as fast as you can

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With the rumours swirling of a Microsoft-led takeover of Yahoo!, my advice to Alibaba's Jack Ma is to buy your company out of Yahoo! as fast as possible.

A long time ago, Microsoft offered a ridiculous amount of money ($US47B) to buy Yahoo!.  Jerry Yang turned them down.  Not long after, Yahoo! shareholder criticism led Yang to resign as CEO.

Reports today suggest that Microsoft is putting together a consortium to make another pitch for Yahoo!  It would be safe to assume the valuation will be MUCH lower.

The Age article stated, "Microsoft has reason to protect its relationship with Yahoo! by not letting it fall into the hands of a potential competitor, according to analysts."

At the moment, Yahoo!'s most valuable asset is its 43% stake in Alibaba, the Chinese online commerce marketplace.  It would be very obvious that Microsoft would spin off this holding as soon as it completed any acquisition in order to recoup as much of its investment as quickly as possible (a profit would be nice!).

When the ousting of ex-CEO Carol Bartz was announced iTWire suggested at the time that there was merit in a 'reverse takeover' by Alibaba to swallow up Yahoo!.

I am less sure of the merits of this.  Yahoo! continues to be a sinking ship with little to attract new eyes.

Instead, I would offer some free advice to Jack Ma, Alibaba's CEO.  Find out how much Yahoo! wants for it's holding in your company and pay it.  Immediately.  Don't become a bargaining chip in the ongoing buy-out battle. 

In addition, you will probably be able to get a better price from Yahoo! who urgently need a war-chest to fend off the gathering sharks than you would from a subsequent Microsoft who would be happy to take their time to get the best deal.

 

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David Heath

David Heath has had a long and varied career in the IT industry having worked as a Pre-sales Network Engineer (remember Novell NetWare?), General Manager of IT&T for the TV Shopping Network, as a Technical manager in the Biometrics industry, and as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer in the industrial control sector. In all aspects, security has been a driving focus. Throughout his career, David has sought to inform and educate people and has done that through his writings and in more formal educational environments.

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