“Alibaba Group, and its major stockholders Yahoo! Inc. and Softbank Corporation, are engaged in and committed to productive negotiations to resolve the outstanding issues related to Alipay in a manner that serves the interests of all shareholders as soon as possible.” It is obvious that both companies want to avoid an open spat about this issue.
Yahoo disclosed in a filing last week that Alibaba had transferred ownership of Alipay to a new corporate entity controlled by Alibaba founder and Chief Executive Jack Ma. Yahoo holds a 43% ownership stake in Alibaba. Yahoo claims that it had no knowledge of the transfer of Alipay, which Alibaba disputes. Nevertheless transferring an asset without prior agreement of shareholders is indeed a strange way of managing shareholder relations.