Yahoo has been discussed as possible acquisition bait for some of the bigger media and technology companies on the planet. But the Silicon Valley stalwart may go on a buying spree of its own if it unloads its Asian assets, including a 40 percent stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Yahoo recently said that its Alibaba stake was worth some $14 billion on a pre-tax basis, a hefty sum which could be used to revitalize the company’s efforts.
Bloomberg reports that as part of a “tax-efficient asset swap” with Alibaba and Softbank, Yahoo has crafted a “wish list” of companies that it would consider gobbling up. Two of the biggest names on the list include WebMD Health Group and The Weather Channel, which is owned by Comcast. In what certainly could be a complex transaction, Bloomberg reports that Alibaba may purchase The Weather Channel, and then offer the company to Yahoo in exchange for a portion of Yahoo’s equity position in Alibaba.
Other potential Yahoo targets could include BankRate, TripAdvisor and InfoSpace, according to stock analyst Jordan Rohan.
TripAdvisor just spun off from Expedia, and now boasts a market value of $3.1 billion. Meanwhile, Bellevue-based InfoSpace — the Internet search company that runs Dogpile, Webcrawler, Metacrawler and other properties — is valued at $438 million.
As we’ve noted in the past, InfoSpace is sitting on a pile of cash and has said repeatedly in the past that it plans to go on its own acquisition spree.
Yahoo’s acquisition plans comes after the company tapped former PayPal executive Scott Thompson as CEO and Chairman Roy Bostock indicated that the company was exploring a possible asset sale.