Yahoo to weigh sale of core business

An analyst says the core business, which includes news sites and Yahoo Mail, could be worth up to $8 billion. Fred Katayama reports.

Yahoo’s board meeting begins Wednesday, and a source says directors will explore a sale of its core Internet business. That would include its news and sports sites and services like Yahoo Mail. The development comes amid CEO Marissa Mayer’s struggles to turn around the company and produce a hit product despite making a series of acquisitions and hires.

Another option the board is expected to consider is its plan to spin off shares in Alibaba worth more than $30 billion. But activist investor Starboard Value has asked the company to drop those plans amid uncertainty of being slapped with a big tax bill.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Robert Peck said, “One of the simplest answers is to sell the core, which could garner $6 to $8 billion of net proceeds.” He says investors think media and telecom companies such as Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, NewsCorp and Disney would be interested. Analysts have also named Softbank, which is the biggest shareholder in Yahoo Japan.

Shares of Yahoo rising sharply in early trading. They have vastly underperformed rivals Alphabet and Facebook. Alibaba up slightly. Softbank and Yahoo Japan rose in Tokyo.

Amid the criticism, Mayer has not lost the support of the board, according to news site Re/code.