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Yahoo mulls options for $9bn Yahoo Japan Corp stake Reuters

Internet major Yahoo has said that it is looking to sell its stake in Yahoo Japan Corp, which could be worth almost $9bn (£6bn, €8.4bn) before tax.

Yahoo has hired advisers to help it evaluate options for the near 35% stake in the Japanese division, chief executive Marissa Mayer told investors during a conference call on 21 April.

It will not be included in the planned spin-off of its stake in China's Alibaba Group Holding, she said.

The advisers will help Yahoo "determine the most promising opportunities to maximize value" for the Yahoo Japan stake, Mayer added.

Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners, warned that a deal, if any, could be a long way down the line.

Gillis told Reuters: "They are taking the slow train, stressing the process. Engaging advisers doesn't mean spinning it out."

Shares in Yahoo are down some 13% so far this year in New York trade. Earlier, Yahoo said first-quarter sales slid 4% to $1.04bn, missing expectations.

While Yahoo owns about 35% of Yahoo Japan Corp, Japanese internet major SoftBank is the biggest shareholder, with about 36%, according to Thomson Reuters data.

In March, Yahoo shareholder Starboard Value said the Alibaba spin-off was a "good first step" but urged Yahoo to also spin off its Yahoo Japan stake in a tax-efficient manner.

Investors began asking Mayer to monetise the Yahoo Japan stake separately, after she revealed plans to spin off the Alibaba stake in January, which could be worth $40bn.