Yahoo to spin off Alibaba stake despite no U.S. tax ruling: Reuters

(Reuters) — Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) said on Monday it would proceed with the planned spinoff of its stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) even though the IRS has declined to rule on whether the transaction would be tax free. Yahoo’s shares rose 4 percent to $28.71 in extended trading. The Web search company said earlier this month the IRS had denied its request for a private letter ruling on whether the spinoff of its stake in the Chinese e-commerce giant would be considered tax free. The spin-off will remain subject to certain other conditions including the receipt of a legal opinion on the tax-free treatment of the deal under U.S. federal tax laws, Yahoo said in a regulatory filing. (1.usa.gov/1FxLxDD) Based on Alibaba’s Monday close of $59.24, Yahoo’s 384 million shares of Alibaba are worth $22.75 billion. The value of the stake is slightly less than Yahoo’s market capitalization of about $25.98 billion based on 941 million shares outstanding on July 31 and Monday’s close. Many analysts say Yahoo’s core business is worth close to nothing without its Asian assets. As of Monday’s close, Yahoo’s shares have declined a little more than 45 percent this year. Alibaba’s shares have fallen nearly 45 percent over the same period. Investors have closely followed plans for the spinoff, seeing it as a way to unlock value from the company. Yahoo paid $1 billion in 2005 for a 40 percent stake in Alibaba, in a deal credited to the U.S. company’s co-founder Jerry Yang. Yahoo, which expects to complete the deal in the forth quarter ending Dec. 31, has been trying to revive its core online advertising business by spending more to get users on its websites. Analysts and shareholders believe the company and its stake in Alibaba would be worth more separately, as long as the spinoff is not subject to tax incurred from selling the shares.

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Yahoo to spin off Alibaba stake despite no U.S. tax ruling: Reuters

Alibaba, Ant Financial invest in Paytm

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Ant Financial Services Group have invested in Paytm. Financial terms weren’t announced. Paytm, of New Delhi NCR, is a mobile payment & commerce platform in India. Ant Financial previously invested in Paytm in February. Citi provided financial advice to Paytm. PRESS RELEASE September 29, 2015 02:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time HANGZHOU, China & NEW DELHI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA), Ant Financial Services Group and One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm, India’s largest mobile payment & commerce platform, announced today an agreement under which Alibaba and Ant Financial have agreed to make a strategic investment in Paytm. Ant Financial made its initial investment in Paytm in February 2015 while Alibaba will become a new investor in Paytm after the completion of the transaction. The fresh capital infusion will allow Paytm to achieve scale and develop its vibrant mobile commerce and payment ecosystem in India and invest in marketing, technology and talent. Investing in Paytm will enhance the ability of Alibaba and Ant Financial to tap opportunities in India’s fast-growing mobile e-commerce marketplace and digital finance industry. Ant Financial has been developing synergies with Paytm since its initial investment in February of this year. Ant Financial’s further investment in Paytm with this transaction demonstrates the company’s confidence in India’s digital payment sector. Ant Financial and Paytm will continue to capitalize on opportunities in mobile wallet to offer Indian consumers comprehensive products and services and to tap the significant potential of the India mobile payment market. This transaction further demonstrates the commitment of Alibaba, the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume, to continue to internationalize its e-commerce business. Eric Jing, President of Ant Financial Services Group said, “Ant Financial has worked seamlessly with Paytm in the past few months and our technical teams have developed significant improvements on the user experience for Indian consumers. Ant Financial and Paytm will collaborate to capture mobile payment opportunities in India. We believe that Paytm, as a leader in this field, is best equipped to build a mobile payment ecosystem in the country.” Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group said, “India is an important emerging market with strong e-commerce potential, and we look forward to partnering with Paytm to deliver innovative products and services to consumers. Supporting the success of local homegrown entrepreneurial companies has long been an important part of Alibaba Group’s globalization strategy. This investment will further expand Alibaba Group’s global footprint to India’s thriving mobile commerce market.” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Paytm said, “Paytm is building India’s most dominant mobile payment and commerce ecosystem. With the Alibaba and Ant Financial partnerships, we look to bring half a billion Indians to the mainstream economy and help millions of small businesses leverage this large m-commerce opportunity. This investment by Alibaba and Ant Financial is a reaffirmation of their belief and commitment to the long term Paytm opportunity.” Citi acted as exclusive financial advisor to Paytm on this transaction. Paytm’s business has grown rapidly and robustly since Ant Financial initially invested in Paytm in February 2015. Ant Financial has also been offering strategic and technical support to the company. Paytm has recently crossed 100 million Paytm Wallet users who carry out over 75 million transactions every month. With this major achievement, Paytm has inched closer towards its larger vision of bringing half a billion Indians to the mainstream economy. About Alibaba Group Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company is the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume. Founded in 1999, the company provides the fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help businesses leverage the power of the Internet to establish an online presence and conduct commerce with hundreds of millions of consumers and other businesses. Alibaba Group’s major businesses include: • Taobao Marketplace (www.taobao.com), China’s largest online shopping destination • Tmall.com (www.tmall.com), China’s largest third-party platform for brands and retailers • Juhuasuan (www.juhuasuan.com), China’s most popular online group buying marketplace • Alitrip (www.alitrip.com), a leading online travel booking platform • AliExpress (www.aliexpress.com), a global online marketplace for consumers to buy directly from China • Alibaba.com (www.alibaba.com), China’s largest global online wholesale platform for small businesses • 1688.com (www.1688.com), a leading online wholesale marketplace in China • Aliyun (www.aliyun.com), a provider of cloud computing services to businesses and entrepreneurs About Ant Financial Services Group Ant Financial Services Group is focused on serving small and micro enterprises as well as consumers. With the vision “to turn trust into wealth,” Ant Financial is dedicated to building an open ecosystem of Internet thinking and technologies while working with other financial institutions to support the future financial needs of society. Businesses operated by Ant Financial Services Group include Alipay, Ant Fortune, Yu’e Bao, Zhao Cai Bao, Ant Micro Loan, Sesame Credit and MYbank. For more information on Ant Financial, please visit our website at www.antgroup.com; or follow us on Twitter @AntFinancial About Paytm Paytm is India’s largest mobile payment & commerce platform. With current user base of more than 100 million, Paytm is on mission to bring half a billion Indians to the mainstream economy using mobile payment, commerce and soon to be launched payment banking services. The consumer brand of India’s leading mobile internet company One97 Communications, Paytm is head-quartered in New Delhi NCR. The company’s investors include Ant Financial (Alipay), SAIF Partners, Sapphire Venture and Silicon Valley Bank.

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Alibaba, Ant Financial invest in Paytm