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Altaba to unload all Yahoo Japan shares

US company to sell at 5% lower than Monday's closing price

Yahoo Japan bought back 611 million of its own shares in August through SoftBank Corp.   © Reuters

PALO ALTO, U.S. -- Altaba, the U.S. company formerly known as Yahoo, will sell all of its stake in Yahoo Japan for 354 yen ($3.18) per share, it announced on Monday. The price is about 5% lower than Monday's closing price of 371 yen.

Altaba is Yahoo Japan's second largest shareholder with 1,363,531,700 shares, or about 27%, trailing only SoftBank Group.

Selling all of its Yahoo Japan holdings for 354 yen will pull in about 483 billion yen. Proceeds from the sale will be used to buy back shares, among other things.

Yahoo Japan announced on Tuesday that Altaba will cease to be its major shareholder as of Friday.

Earlier on Monday, Altaba said it expected to determine by Tuesday morning, Japan time, the number of shares to transfer, as well as the selling price, "in light of investor demand, market conditions and other factors." Ultimately, the company decided to sell all of its shares.

The news follows a roughly 220 billion yen ($1.98 billion) stock buyback by Yahoo Japan completed in August that slashed Altaba's interest to 27%, not including treasury shares. The American company initially owned 35% of Yahoo Japan before announcing plans in February to sell down its stake.

Yahoo Japan began in 1996 as a joint venture of Altaba's predecessor Yahoo and SoftBank Group, the Japanese technology multinational. After U.S. mobile carrier Verizon bought out Yahoo's core internet business last year, Yahoo changed its name to Altaba and relaunched as an investment company with stakes in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba Group Holding as its main assets.

Altaba sold some Yahoo Japan shares on the open market during the April-June quarter, causing the stock price to sag. This prompted Yahoo Japan to buy back about 611 million of its own shares from Altaba through SoftBank Corp., SoftBank Group's mobile arm. That move helped to stabilize Yahoo Japan's share price.  

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