A spokesman of the Alibaba Group has confirmed CEO Jack Ma's interest in acquiring Yahoo which owns 40% of the Chinese Internet giant.
John W. Spelich, vice president for international corporate affairs at the Chinese Internet giant, confirmed that Ma had said at Stanford that he was interested in acquiring Yahoo.
"In response to a media question as to whether he was interested in acquiring all of Yahoo, he said he was (on behalf of Alibaba Group)," says John W. Spelich, vice president for international corporate affairs at Alibaba by email.
Yahoo's CEO Carol Bartz was fired from her job on Sept. 6, and replaced on an interim basis by the company's chief financial officer, Tim Morse. Bartz, who took over as CEO in January 2009, frustrated investors and failed to keep Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. from grabbing Yahoo's Internet users and advertising revenue.
One of the issues for which Bartz reportedly drew flak, was her handling of an already difficult relationship with Alibaba Group which has managed Yahoo's brand and services in China since 2005.
Yahoo said it was caught by surprise when it found out that Alibaba Group had spun off its Alipay online payment unit to a Chinese company controlled by Ma.
Alibaba Group runs e-commerce site Alibaba.com that was listed in 2007 on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
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