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…and the 40 thieves.

(Note added December 27, 2011: If you reached this article because you had searched for details about “Yahoo’s board of directors is considering a deal to sell its Asian assets back to their majority holders in a tax-free deal worth $17 billion….” then follow that link for the CNET News story from December 21, 2011, first reported in The New York Times.)

Yahoo! acquired a 40% stake in the Chinese company Alibaba several years ago.

That investment may NOW be worth up to 1/3 of Yahoo’s TOTAL VALUE! :-)

On Friday, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma addressed an audience at the China 2.0 Conference at Stanford University and said that he is interested in acquiring Yahoo! We can now add Alibaba to a list of potential suitors that includes the private equity firm Silverlake Partners, the venture capitalists Andreessen Horowitz, and even Microsoft!

Yahoo! has a market capitalization of $16.63 billion, still a hefty price, even though it is far less than the $44.6 billion that Microsoft once offered. Ma has repeatedly pressured the Yahoo Board to sell the original 40% stake back to him and has been rejected so far. But Yahoo! has recently fired CEO Carol Bartz and may be looking at ALL the options right now!

Yahoo! co-founder, Jerry Yang, was criticized four years ago in congressional hearings for the role Yahoo! played in the jailing of a Chinese human rights activist.

The possible acquisition of Yahoo! by the Chinese company Alibaba might not “sit well” with human rights activists or members of Congress!

-Bill at

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