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Alibaba's Jack Ma says he's 'very interested' in buying Yahoo

September 30, 2011 |  6:27 pm

Jack Ma, Alibaba chairman
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is "very interested" in buying Yahoo, its chairman said during an event at Stanford University on Friday.

Jack Ma said he has had discussions with Yahoo and other potential buyers. He did not identify the buyers.

"We are very interested in Yahoo because our Alibaba Group is so important to Yahoo, and Yahoo is also very important to us," Ma said when asked if he would buy the company, according to Bloomberg. "There are so many people who are interested in that, and we are also talking to them."

Ma made the remarks during a "China 2.0" conference (on innovation and investment in China) put on by the Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Yahoo board members said in a memo to employees last week that their advisors had fielded inquiries from "multiple parties."

Yahoo is reviewing its options, which are chiefly selling the company or parts of it, namely its Asian assets which include a stake in Alibaba Group. The company is also looking for a permanent CEO. But sources have told the Los Angeles Times that new leadership is the least likely of the options. Yahoo's board fired Carol Bartz as chief executive earlier this month.

Ma said he's negotiating to buy the whole company but said negotiations had run into unspecified "political issues."

A Yahoo spokeswoman declined to comment.

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-- Jessica Guynn

Photo: Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma Photo. Credit: Dan Groshong / Bloomberg News

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