/// Liveblogging the Yahoo-Alibaba Settlement Call: 100 Percent of Zero

July 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital


As these companies are wont to do in the middle of the night, Yahoo, SoftBank and the Alibaba Group have reached an agreement in their nasty dispute around the Alipay payments unit and they are ready to talk about it. The issue has revolved around the spinning out of Alipay by Alibaba, without the approval of large stakeholders Yahoo and Japan’s SoftBank, which the pair felt was a big no-no. Much mishegas followed, but the trio has been hard at work on a settlement, which is here now. Of course, had the three companies cooperated in the first place ast joint owners and board members, this all would have been unnecessary. 5:48 am PT: The call starts without all kinds of regulatory info about what can and cannot be said, before being thrown to Yahoo SFO Tim Morse. One interesting wrinkle is that SoftBank’s Ron Fisher cannot speak at all due to some Japanese laws, which were unexplained. But, said Morse, he’s there to show his support. Go, Ron! Alibaba’s CFO is up first to talk about the deal over Alipay, which he stresses does not really make much money now or, as he says, is “marginally profitable.” Tsai walks through the facts that they have already outlined earlier today, including a variety of payments from Alipay to Alibaba, since — let’s be clear — it used to be part of Alibaba. But Alibaba said it did so in order to get critical regulatory approvals from the Chinese government, which caused all this mess. Morse now comes on, noting the whole mess really had “no direct impact” from a financial point of view on Yahoo or SoftBank. Well, shareholders of Yahoo might beg to differ, considering the huge hit the stock took due to the fight. But Morse is pleased the complex agreement has finally been reached — I am guessing it was not easy to negotiate among three different countries. 5:59 am: Time for Q&A! The first call is about more deets and also about the possibility of a liquidity event. Tsai underscores that there might not be one or there might be one

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Liveblogging the Yahoo-Alibaba Settlement Call: 100 Percent of Zero


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