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Mayer’s ‘Plan to Stay’ Means Finding Home for Rest of Yahoo

  • Still $40 billion of assets that Verizon isn’t acquiring
  • Alibaba, Yahoo Japan, patents and cash will keep her busy

Marissa Mayer’s work at Yahoo! Inc. -- or what’s left of it -- is far from over.

Moments after announcing plans to sell Yahoo’s core assets to Verizon for $4.83 billion, she sent a note telling employees she’s not going anywhere for the time being.

“I plan to stay, I love Yahoo,’’ Mayer reiterated on a call with analysts and investors. “For the immediate future, I have two priorities: obviously, seeing the transaction through to closing and protecting the value in our equity stakes.’’

Yahoo’s long-term plans for Mayer are not yet clear. In the meantime, she’s got her hands full figuring out integration plans and dealing with $40 billion in assets that Verizon isn’t acquiring. What’s staying behind includes the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Yahoo Japan stakes, as well as cash and some patents. The remaining portion will become a new publicly traded investment company -– temporarily nicknamed Remain Co. –- a structure that Yahoo promises to use to appease shareholders.

The management team and board will have the option to sell parts or the entirety of Remain Co., or hold onto it and reap the value more slowly. Here’s what the company may do with the assets:

Alibaba

This golden goose won’t be finding its way directly to investors’ hands anytime soon – due to a potential multibillion-dollar tax bill that would likely come with spinning off Alibaba. That wrinkle is what put the core assets on the auction block in the first place. Early last year Yahoo thought it could monetize its Alibaba stake while escaping a big tax hit. The plan was for Yahoo to park its Alibaba stock in a new company along with...


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