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Yahoo! sells shares back to Alibaba Group

22nd May 2012

The multinational internet corporation Yahoo! has sold its 40 per cent stake in China’s Alibaba Group back to the e-commerce company in a move which involved employing the advice of six large law firms.

The $7.1bn (£4.5bn) deal saw solicitors with some of the top-ranked legal jobs in America and Asia lend their knowledge throughout the process, particularly on Intellectual Property matters.

Yahoo! first invested in Alibaba in 2005, with a $1bn input being handled by the group’s Chinese operation. The sale of its shares should bring closer the prospect of Alibaba floating on the stock market after an initial public offering (IPO). The transaction will be subject to standard closing conditions, however, with a period of six months needed to elapse before any further action is taken in this regard.

Earlier this year, the Alibaba Group announced that it would be aiming to privatise Alibaba.com, its Hong-Kong subsidiary, within five years of a stock market launch.