Yahoo Confirms Reverse Spinoff of Core Business Assets

Chairman Maynard Webb also offers CEO Marissa Mayer vote of confidence: “We want to help her return this great company to an iconic place where it belongs”


Yahoo Chairman Maynard Webb and CEO Marissa Mayer confirmed on Wednesday the company will spinoff all of its non-Alibaba assets into a new publicly traded company.

The move is being dubbed a “reverse spin” and Yahoo’s attempt to turn around it’s self-described turnaround under Mayer.

On CNBC, Mayer said the uncertainty over the tax treatment of Alibaba’s shares spurred Yahoo’s decision to halt its spinoff of its 384 Alibaba shares into a new company.

Chairman Maynard Webb said it would have taken too long to go forward with the Alibaba spinoff.

“We felt very certain that the unrest with the overhang for the stock for that length of time would destroy too much shareholder value,” Webb said.

The reverse spin of the company’s assets could take up to a year, Mayer said, and management would be announcing more details to shareholders soon.

Webb said the Board hasn’t made a determination regarding whether the company is for sale. He also offered Mayer a vote of confidence, saying she is the hardest, smartest executive he’s come across.

“We want to help her return this great company to an iconic place where it belongs,” he said.

“We believe that we are significantly undervalued and we believe the best way to unlock that value is to continue to focus on the turnaround of our operating business and better execution there in addition to separating out the Alibaba assets from the operating business.”

Mayer defended her strategy as Yahoo chief over the last three years that focused on search, communications and digital content.

She pointed to the company’s “mavens”– mobile, video, native and social–being the biggest areas of growth in digital advertising, saying the company has earned $1.5 billion in GAP revenue in those areas in 2015.