Yahoo seeking up to $500 million for small business unit

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Yahoo (YHOO.O) hopes to get up to $500 million for a unit that hosts websites for small companies, after putting it on the market for several months, two people familiar with the matter said.

Yahoo has received interest from corporate buyers and private equity firms, one of the sources familiar with the situation said. It is unclear if any party has made an offer.

But some potential corporate buyers who have looked at the asset in recent months have decided not to bid because they think the price is too high, a second source said.

"Yahoo's price expectations are higher than what buyers were willing to pay," this person said, adding that Yahoo was seeking $350 million to $500 million. "People would like to own this asset, but not at the asking price."

As part of its strategy to shed assets that are no longer core to its brand, Yahoo put the unit called Yahoo Small Business up for sale about six months ago, along with HotJobs, its online job classified site, the sources said.

Last week, Yahoo sold its stake in China's top e-commerce company for $150 million.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the sale process has not been made public. A Yahoo spokeswoman said the company does not comment on rumors or speculation.

The small business division provides domains, email, Web hosting and other merchant services to customers. Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo, which posted $7.2 billion in revenue last year, does not break out the unit's performance.

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