Date
25 March 2017
Will she or won't she? Marissa Mayer has been mulling spinning off Yahoo's stake in Alibaba. Photo: Bloomberg
Will she or won't she? Marissa Mayer has been mulling spinning off Yahoo's stake in Alibaba. Photo: Bloomberg

All eyes on Yahoo as Alibaba share lockup expires

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. set a record with its US$25 billion initial public offering last year.

Now five times the number of shares just became available, and investors are watching Yahoo Inc. carefully.

The lockup on 63 percent of Alibaba shares ended Saturday, freeing up the biggest shareholders to sell stock starting Monday, Bloomberg reported.

With Yahoo still studying what to do with its 15 percent stake, investors battered by Alibaba’s US$128.5 billion market slump are bracing for the worst, such as the possibility of more shares hitting the market and driving prices down further.

Founding chairman Jack Ma Yun, who oversees the e-commerce giant from Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, and Hong Kong-based vice-chairman Joseph Tsai Chung-hsin have pledged to keep their stock.

Analysts expect Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. to hold on to its shares as part of its global expansion. 

Yahoo is the biggest investor that hasn’t pledged to keep its holding, and chief executive Marissa Mayer has been considering spinning off the US internet pioneer’s US$25 billion stake.

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