Alibaba has taken over SunArt's supermarket outlets. Photo: Handout

Altaba, the Yahoo spin-out unit holding Yahoo Japan and Yahoo’s stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, announced it will sell its Alibaba holdings then shut down the company.

By the end of last year, Altaba held 283 million shares in Alibaba, accounting to about a 10.96% share. It’s the third largest shareholder after SoftBank and Alibaba founder Jack Ma. Market price for the shares is about US$51 billion.

In response to the sale, an unnamed Alibaba spokesperson said stocks are meant for trading, and any (Alibaba) shareholder, at any time, with any purpose, has the right to deal their stock.

Yahoo has realized big returns from investing in Alibaba and the profits will be useful, the National Business Daily reported, citing the Alibaba spokesperson.

Yahoo invested US$1 billion for 30% of Alibaba back in 2005 and sold half of its stake back to Alibaba in 2012 through a deal that valued the shares at $13.

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