Bloomberg News

Softbank’s Son Expects to Reach Agreement on Alipay ‘Soon’

June 20, 2011

(Updates with Yahoo shares in fourth paragraph.)

June 20 (Bloomberg) -- Softbank Corp. Chairman Masayoshi Son said he expects to reach an agreement “soon” on its dispute over Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s sale of the Alipay online- payment unit.

Son didn’t elaborate on details of the talks with Alibaba to reporters in Seoul, where he attended an energy forum today. Softbank, Japan’s fastest-growing mobile-phone carrier, is the second-biggest shareholder at Alibaba, which spun off its Alipay business without the consent of Softbank and Yahoo! Inc., the largest stakeholder.

Alibaba, China’s biggest electronic-commerce company, is “optimistic” it will reach an agreement with Yahoo and Softbank over the spinoff of Alipay, Jack Ma, chief executive officer at the Chinese company, said on June 1. Shares of Softbank and Yahoo have declined since last month’s disclosure that Alipay was sold without the knowledge of the shareholders.

Yahoo rose 51 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $15.21 as of 1:22 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. Shares of the Sunnyvale, California-based company had fallen 21 percent from May 10, when it disclosed the transfer of Alipay, through June 17.

Softbank shares declined 1.3 percent in Tokyo trading today, and have declined 10 percent since May 10.

Alibaba’s Ma last week said Softbank and Yahoo were wrong in delaying a decision over the reorganization of Alipay, which he said was needed to expedite the application of an online payment license in China.

--Editors: Young-Sam Cho, Tom Giles.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jun Yang in Seoul at jyang180@bloomberg.net

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lee in Hong Kong at wlee37@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net


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