China-based e-commerce company Alibaba Group could be planning to buy back Yahoo's stake in its operation, a new report claims.
According to Bloomberg, which cited "people familiar with the matter," Alibaba is in talks with Singapore's Temasek Holdings, a state-owned investment firm, to raise the cash to buy back Yahoo's 40 percent stake. Exactly how much Alibaba will need to raise to get Yahoo to agree to the deal is unknown. Citing a Temasek valuation, Bloomberg said Yahoo's stake, which it acquired in 2005, could be worth as much as $13 billion.
Alibaba has been at the center of much of the talk surrounding Yahoo as of late. However, instead of trying to get rid of Yahoo, the latest reports suggest Alibaba has every intention to get closer to the online giant.
Citing sources, Bloomberg reported last week that Alibaba is in talks with Silver Lake Partners and Digital Sky Technologies to file a joint bid for Yahoo. That report came after Alibaba chief Jack Ma said publicly earlier this year that he would like to acquire Yahoo.
The only issue is that Alibaba is reportedly in competition with many other companies. Over the last several weeks, rumors have cropped up suggesting Andreessen Horowitz and Providence Equity Partners are among the companies preparing to file a bid for Yahoo. Even Microsoft is reportedly interested in making another run at the online giant.
Yahoo hasn't made any public indication that it's actually looking to be acquired, and the company is still saying that it's looking for a new CEO to replace the ousted Carol Bartz. However, internally, according to several reports, the board of directors is preparing financial information to present to potential suitors, and is receptive to a possible buyout offer.
Whether Yahoo is receptive to selling off its stake in Alibaba, however, remains to be seen. Alibaba has proven successful in China, and is one of the more successful investments Yahoo has made. And Yahoo appears to know that. Last year, Alibaba tried to buy back some of its stake from Yahoo, but the online company balked at the idea and talks ceased.
Yahoo did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment about whether it'll have a change of heart this time around.