Despite hiccups, Yahoo’s planned sale to Verizon appears to be moving forward — but some portions of the company will be left behind and renamed Altaba Inc.
Yahoo is hanging on to its 15 percent stake in Alibaba and its 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan, and those assets will survive as an investment company under the new name Altaba Inc., as the rest of Yahoo integrates with Verizon. The assets had previously been nicknamed Remain Co.
Only five board members will remain at Altaba: Tor Braham, Eric Brandt, Catherine Friedman, Thomas McInerney and Jeffrey Smith. The rest of Yahoo’s board, including CEO Marissa Mayer, will step down from the newly formed company. Mayer may be tapped for a role in Yahoo’s integration at Verizon, but her position has yet to be announced.
The news of the name change comes in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing is an indication that Verizon is moving forward with its purchase of Yahoo, which disclosed multiple security breaches last year affecting more than 1 billion users. Verizon reportedly considered asking for a discount on the $4.8 billion deal after the breaches were disclosed, and a discounted price may still be announced before the deal closes. It’s also possible that the deal might be cancelled outright. (Disclosure: Verizon owns AOL, which owns TechCrunch.)
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Yahoo — or, should we say Altaba now? — also acknowledged in its SEC filing that the security breaches may imperil the deal with Verizon. The company noted “risks that Verizon may assert, or threaten to assert, rights or claims with respect to the Stock Purchase Agreement as a result of facts relating to the security incidents disclosed on September 22, 2016 and December 14, 2016 and may seek to terminate the Stock Purchase Agreement or renegotiate the terms of the Sale Transaction on that basis.”
More clues about how Yahoo’s cybersecurity problems will impact the sale are expected to come during Yahoo’s earnings call later this month.