Monday, August 15, 2011
An amicable settlement was reached when Yahoo Inc. agreed to take no less than $2 billion and no more than $6 billion if there is an Alipay initial public offering (IPO). The agreement, reached with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, also has the support of the other major Alibaba investor, Japan's SoftBank Mobile Corp.
Yahoo and SoftBank, which together own more than 90 percent of Alibaba, said they were both surprised to learn Alibaba spun off its Alipay payments business last year in order to meet China's regulatory requirements. Both Yahoo and SoftBank have representatives on Alibaba's board but said they did not learn of the Alipay separation until the spring of 2011 – well after Alibaba founder, Chief Executive Officer and President Jack Ma took Alipay private in 2010.
Alibaba, the largest e-commerce company in China, also owns Taobao, China's version of eBay Inc. Taobao is China's largest online retailer. The new agreement states Alipay will continue to provide processing services to Alibaba Group and Taobao.
The agreement also gives Alibaba Group a 49.9 percent share of its pretax income in return for royalties and software technology services. The final stipulation said Alibaba Group will receive between $2 billion and $6 billion in an Alipay IPO with the exact number to be determined by multiplying the equity value of Alipay by 37.5 percent – up to the $6 billion cap.
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