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November 19, 2015

Investors tell Yahoo to halt Alibaba spinoff plan

News: Fears over tax bill prompt call for a halt.

By Charlotte Henry

Yahoo is under pressure from activist shareholder Starboard Value to halt its plan to sell off its stake in Alibaba.

The investor wrote to Yahoo saying that its plan to despose of $20bn worth of shares carries too great a risk now, as America’s tax authorities have not guaranteed that the spinoff would not incur taxes, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Yahoo had still planned to make the sale, but Starboard wants Marissa Mayer’s firm to sell off its struggling internet business instead.

If the sale of its stake in the Chinese e-commerce giant does go ahead, Yahoo could now incur a tax bill of around $9bn. Yahoo still expects the move to go ahead, however, by the end of the fourth quarter .

The firm has been battling to restore its core online advertising business. Its results for the third quarter of 2015 fell short of expectations, although revenue from mobile, video, native, and social (Mavens) was up by 43% to $422m

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