Yahoo Reviewing Strategy, Including Use of Cash From Alibaba Deal

Yahoo's new CEO Marissa Mayer is reviewing the company's business strategy, which could lead it to change its plans to return to shareholders after tax cash proceeds from a deal with Alibaba Group, the company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

The move suggests that Mayer may be considering other uses for the cash to revive ailing Yahoo, including through acquisitions and investment in new products.

Yahoo said in May it agreed to sell off about half of its stake in Alibaba Group back to the Chinese e-commerce giant as part of a US$7.1 billion deal. Alibaba will buy back about 20 percent of its own stake from Yahoo for at least US$6.3 billion in cash proceeds and up to $800 million in newly-issued Alibaba preferred stock, according to the agreement. The deal is expected to be concluded later this year, Yahoo said.

Mayer intends to review with the board of directors, among other things, the company's growth and acquisition strategy, a restructuring plan it began implementing in the second quarter, and the company's cash position and planned capital allocation strategy, the company said.

Besides addressing the earlier plan to return substantially all of the after tax cash proceeds from the Alibaba deal, the review process may also lead to a re-evaluation or changes to Yahoo's other current plans, including the restructuring plan, and a share repurchase program, Yahoo said.

Yahoo appointed Mayer, a former high-profile Google executive, as CEO last month, leading to speculation that Mayer, who was in charge of Google's Local, Maps and Location products, would boost product development at Yahoo. The company reported revenue and profit in the second quarter that was slightly lower than in the same quarter a year earlier.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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