Prominent Silicon Valley technology investors Silver Lake, who recently sold Skype to Microsoft, has joined DST, Temasek Holdings and Yunfeng Capital in a bid to buy stock from "cash-out paper-rich" Alibaba employees, according to a report from AllThingD.
DST is a technology fund managed by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner (with investments in Facebook and Twitter), and Yunfeng Capital (which denies relationship with Alibaba) is a Chinese private equity firm co-founded by Jack Ma, CEO and Chairman of Alibaba. Of course for Singapore readers, there's no need to introduce Temasek Holdings Pte.
According to AllThingsD's sources, voting control of DST and Silver Lake's stakes are ceded to Alibaba management, and is a move to get around foreign ownership issues in China.
In the same report, AllThingsD also stated that Silver Lake and DST are jointly interested in bidding for Yahoo, which has a large stake in Alibaba.
Carol Bartz, the former Yahoo CEO , had several high profile clashes with Alibaba CEO Jack Ma, but now that Bartz has been fired, it is not clear whether Yahoo will be setting Alibaba free from its shackles.
It's certainly interesting to see how things will pan out for the Chinese e-commerce site, which has been valued at US$32 billion, after this move.
There are other interesting twists to the story, regarding Alibaba and it's rivals as well as investors which is getting quite convoluted.
According to Reuters, shares of Alibaba.com Ltd rose by about 5 percent after news of the agreement to buy a stake in Alibaba Group broke -- to US$7.17