Security & Fraud

Altaba Sells Yahoo Japan Stake; Settles Yahoo Data Breach Lawsuits For $47M

Altaba, the holding company for Yahoo assets, announced on Monday (Sept. 17) that it has sold the remaining shares of Yahoo Japan. The transaction was completed last week, but the company was restricted in announcing it until Monday. Altaba also said it settled the lawsuits over the Yahoo data breach, incurring $47 million in litigation expenses.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, Altaba said the sale was structured as an “accelerated bookbuild offering” or “ABO,” culminating in the sale of $4.3 billion of stock, which it said is an amount that represents more than 100 percent of the pre-existing public float of the company. Altaba said it is the largest secondary ABO ever for a Japanese stock, and was priced at a 4.6 percent discount to the previous closing price.

“This concluded a process that we began in Feb. 2018 when we said that we would seek to monetize the Yahoo Japan position. At that time, we were subject to contractual restrictions on our ability to sell the shares, but said that we were optimistic we would find a way,” wrote the company in a letter to shareholders that was filed with the SEC. “Seven months later, after an extensive negotiation resulting in the termination of our joint venture agreement with SoftBank, with the related sale to them of $2 billion of our Yahoo Japan stock and this most recent transaction, we have done just that.”

Altaba said proceeds from the sale will be used to buy back stock. The company also announced it has authorized a new share repurchase program of $5.75 billion, which replaces the portion of the prior share repurchase program that went unused. “We will have flexibility to use this authorization in a manner that we believe is best for shareholder value. Our current intent is to repurchase shares in the open market,” the company said in the shareholder letter.

In addition to the sale of Yahoo Japan shares, Altaba announced it reached an agreement in principle to settle the consumer class-action litigation related to the Yahoo data breach, with the company incurring $47 million in litigation settlement expenses to resolve three cases. “Together, these developments mark a significant milestone in cleaning up our contingent liabilities related to the Yahoo data breach,” wrote Altaba.

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