How Yahoo's new name 'Altaba' came about

Yahoo was already a shell of its former self. Now part of the company is getting an obscure new name: Altaba.

When Verizon agreed to buy the company for US$4.8 billion (S$6.9 billion) in July 2016, it planned to purchase just Yahoo's core Internet businesses, which include its e-mail service, sports verticals and various apps.

What's left of the embattled technology company would essentially be its ownership in the very valuable Chinese Internet giant Alibaba.

When the deal closes, the remaining part will change its name to Altaba, the company announced in security filings on Monday.

The new name is meant to be a combination of the words "alternative and Alibaba", according to a person familiar with the company's thinking.

Yahoo owns roughly 15 per cent of Alibaba, holdings that are worth about US$35 billion.

The idea behind the name is that Altaba's stock can now be tracked as an alternative to Alibaba, because Yahoo owns a sizeable chunk of the Chinese company.

The new company, which will be publicly traded and has until now been referred to as RemainCo in security filings, also owns a 35.5 per cent stake in Yahoo Japan, the company's Japanese affiliate, and Yahoo's cash, and a patent portfolio that is being sold off in a separate auction.

Yahoo spokesman Suzanne Philion declined to comment on the new name.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2017, with the headline 'How the name Altaba came about'. Print Edition | Subscribe