Yahoo investors rankle at spin-off plan, one suggests laying off 9,000

Yahoo investors are saying they're fed up with corporate vacillation and excessive spending. (credit: Photograph by Randy Stewart)

In recent days, Yahoo investors have been calling for a new plan and new leadership to restore the value of the company. Some argue for Yahoo to sell its core businesses as quickly as possible. Others are trying to build support to oust CEO Marissa Mayer and trim the company’s costs to absolute bare bones. All the while, Yahoo seemed ready to spin off the company's Alibaba holdings into a separate company.

But last week, Yahoo announced that it would reverse course. Instead of spinning off Alibaba, the board of directors said Yahoo would now work to spin off Yahoo’s core businesses, keeping the original company as a holding entity for the Alibaba shares. The company explained the tax climate for spinning off Alibaba holdings was simply unfavorable for investors. Mayer also noted the move would give more “transparency” to the operations of Yahoo’s core businesses, and analysts believed that implied Yahoo would be selling itself off bit by bit.

All this, however, has failed to make investors happy. The Wall Street Journal reported this weekend that Canyon Capital Advisors, an investment firm which owns 10 million shares (about 1.1 percent of Yahoo), is calling for Yahoo to begin selling all or parts of its core businesses immediately. Canyon Capital's strongly worded letter to fellow investors proclaimed that waiting another year to break Yahoo up from its Alibaba holdings is unacceptable. The investor wrote that Yahoo needs to start selling parts of its business off now or risk a further decline in the worth of the company.

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