Alibaba in talks with Softbank to lead Yahoo acquisition bid

Chinese internet group Alibaba is said to be involved in ongoing negotiations with Japanese telecom giant Softbank in an attempt to establish a bid for all of Yahoo (Alibaba already owns Yahoo's chinese business group, in exchange for a 40% stake in Alibaba and 'strategic partnership' in 2005). Sources familiar with the matter have informed Bloomberg that leading private equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital have also been tapped to participate in the acquisition talks.

This most recent report looks to be one of several recent ones all leading towards discrete collaboration between companies that are eyeing part or all of Yahoo's business with predatory visages. Yahoo's board is claimed to be meeting with other potential buyers, including TPG Capital and Silver Lake, which have proposed minority stake offers. Those bids are speculated to be less than $17 per share, while an outright all-out purchase is expected to fetch more than $20 per share. Yahoo shares rose 6.9 percent to $16.79 in trading today.

The Alibaba-led group is said to be waiting for Yahoo to engage in talks toward a potential outright acquisition, although the companies are said to be leaving open the possibility of a hostile takeover. That sounds dangerously (to Yahoo, at least) likely, especially with both veteran private equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital on board. It seems like the once-leading internet company has some thinking to do, before their stock dwindles even further (remember Microsoft's offer for $33 a share a couple years ago? Well, Yahoo, that offer ain't there anymore).

[via Bloomberg]