Yahoo to cut board after sale to Verizon, change name to Altaba

By Brian Womack

Yahoo has agreed to sell its web properties in a deal valued at about $4.8 billion. Photo / Getty Images
Yahoo has agreed to sell its web properties in a deal valued at about $4.8 billion. Photo / Getty Images

Yahoo was already a shell of its former self. Now part of the company is getting an obscure new name: Altaba.

When Verizon agreed to buy the company for $4.8 billion in July 2016, it planned to purchase just Yahoo's core Internet businesses, which include its email service, sports verticals and various apps. What's left of the embattled technology company would essentially be its ownership in the very valuable Chinese Internet giant Alibaba.

When the deal closes, the remaining part will change its name to Altaba, the company announced in security filings on Monday. The sale is expected to be completed by late March.

The new name is meant to be a combination of the words "alternative and Alibaba," according to a person familiar with the company's thinking, who didn't want to be named because the individual was not authorized to speak on the record about the name change.

Today Yahoo owns roughly 15 per cent of Alibaba, holdings that are worth about $35 billion. The idea behind the name is that Altaba's stock can now be tracked as an alternative to Alibaba because Yahoo owns a sizeable chunk of the Chinese company.

The new company, which will be publicly traded and until now has been referred to as RemainCo in security filings, also owns a 35.5 per cent stake in Yahoo Japan, the company's Japanese affiliate, and Yahoo's cash, and a patent portfolio that is being sold off in a separate auction.

A Yahoo spokeswoman, Suzanne Philion, would not comment on the name. She emailed the following statement: "We are confident in Yahoo's value and we continue to work towards integration with Verizon."

Yahoo! Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer is among six directors who plan to leave the board of the investment company that will be left after the closing of the proposed sale of Yahoo's main internet properties to Verizon Communications.

The new company, a shareholder in Alibaba Group Holding and Yahoo! Japan, will change its name to Altaba and reduce its board to five members as it looks ahead to its next chapter with fewer ties to the iconic brand, according to a filing Monday.

Yahoo! Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer. Photo / Getty Images
Yahoo! Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer. Photo / Getty Images

Yahoo agreed to sell its web properties to Verizon in a deal valued at about $4.8 billion (NZ$6.8b), though questions have come up after Yahoo revealed two separate hacks of user data.

The directors that will remain with Altaba after the closing of the Verizon sale are Tor Braham, Eric Brandt, Catherine Friedman, Thomas McInerney and Jeffrey Smith.

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