Briefing: Alibaba’s second-largest shareholder announces liquidation plan

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Altaba Announces Board Approval of Plan of Complete Liquidation and Dissolution – Business Newswire

What happened: Alibaba’s second-largest shareholder Altaba, formerly Yahoo! Inc., announced its board had approved the liquidation and dissolution plan. The investment company, which owns 11% of the Chinese e-commerce giant, intends to sell no more than approximately 50% of the shares it holds in Alibaba before they gain shareholder approval of the plan and to sell its remaining Alibaba shares after getting shareholder approval, the company announced in a public statement.

“Stocks are for trading. Any shareholder has the right to deal stock anytime on the market, for any purpose. We’re happy to have had Yahoo! invest in Alibaba in the past and to see it now collecting a strong return on its investment,” an Alibaba Group representative told TechNode.

Why it’s important: Altaba was created from Yahoo! after the former tech giant sold its core internet business to Verizon in 2017. Since then, Altaba has been a proxy for investors seeking exposure to Alibaba. The investment fund, which once kept 72% of its assets in Alibaba, cashed out its holdings in Alibaba for the first time in August, reducing its shares in Alibaba from nearly 15% to its current 11%. Amid an overall cooling in the retail market and China-US trade tensions, Alibaba has reported its slowest revenue growth since 2016, despite exceeding expectations and posting net income growth of more than 30% for the quarter ending December 31, 2018 compared with the same period a year earlier.