Struggling Internet major Yahoo!'s Chief Executive Marissa Mayer may scrap the company’s initial plan to pay its shareholders billion of dollars from the anticipated windfall gain later this year.

“Marissa Mayer is engaging in a review of the company’s business strategy to enhance long-term shareholder value,” Yahoo! said in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As part of the process, Marissa Mayer intends to review its previously announced plans for returning to shareholders billions of dollars from the sale of part of its stake in Alibaba Group of China.

The potential change, which was disclosed after market hours yesterday, caused Yahoo!’s stock to drop nearly 4 per cent in extended trading.

The sale of part of its stake in thriving Chinese Internet company, Alibaba Group, is likely to garner funds to the tune of $7.1 billion towards the end of the year for the struggling Internet company.

Out of over $7 billion, Yahoo! pledged to distribute most of the anticipated after-tax proceeds estimated to be $4.2 billion to its shareholders.

The review process may lead to “re-evaluation of, or changes to, our current plans, including our restructuring plan, our share repurchase program, and our previously announced plans for returning to shareholders substantially all of the after tax cash proceeds” of the Alibaba deal inked in May, the filing said.

Marissa Mayer will conduct the review process, along with the board of directors, and will consider among other things, the company’s growth and acquisition strategy, the restructuring plan that began in the second quarter of 2012, the company’s cash position and planned capital allocation strategy.

On May 20, 2012, Yahoo! had entered into a repurchase agreement with Alibaba Group to sell up to one-half of its stake, or around 20 per cent of Alibaba Group’s fully-diluted ordinary shares, at a minimum price of $13.50 per share.

Yahoo!’s decision to hire 37-year-old and soon-to-be mother Marissa Mayer, a key Google team member, as its new CEO was hailed as one of the most inspiring top-job stories worldwide.

(This article was published on August 10, 2012)
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