Yahoo Calls Off Sale of Small-Business Unit

As part of its drive to shed non-core properties, Yahoo (YHOO) has been looking to sell its small business unit since last summer. But after finding a shortage of interest, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Internet firm has put the sale on hold, according to a source close to the situation.Although the sale was never publicly confirmed, Yahoo was reported to be seeking between $350 million and $500 million for the division, which provides Internet services, including email and web hosting, to small-business clients. But its would-be owners couldn't find that much value in it. As far back as September, some potential strategic buyers were already said to be balking at the price.

Brian Nelson, Yahoo's director of communications, said in email that the company "does not comment on rumor or speculation." Nelson added: "We are focused on competing and winning in Yahoo Small Business. We will always look at parts of the business where divestitures, partnerships or outsourcing could generate incremental value and help us improve our focus. That said, we believe 2010 is about acquisitions and investments to make Yahoo even stronger."

The company last week reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and also projected that it would beat analysts' predictions for first-quarter 2010 revenues.

Yahoo competes with AOL (AOL), parent of DailyFinance, across a variety of fronts.
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