Yahoo, SoftBank officially back Alibaba partnership structure

|By:, SA News Editor

In a move that brings Alibaba one more step closer to a U.S.IPO filing, 24% shareholder Yahoo (YHOO +1.2%) and 36.7% shareholder SoftBank (SFTBF.PK) have given their blessing to a corporate structure that would allow its 28 partners (largely founders and management) to maintain firm control of the Chinese e-commerce giant's board (and which didn't sit well with Hong Kong regulators).

Alibaba vice chairman Joe Tsai has written a blog post defending his company's planned partnership structure. Echoing arguments made by Google and Facebook regarding their dual-class share structures, Tsai asserts tight partner control will "help maintain the Alibaba culture."

Yahoo is outperforming following the news. SoftBank rose 1.6% overnight in Tokyo.

Yesterday: Yahoo rallies as Alibaba IPO reportedly draws closer