Yahoo has continued to rebuff investor calls that are seeking to explore a potential sale of the company's core Internet business, with sources familiar with the matter stating that Yahoo will be deciding on what to do next only after the release of its quarterly earnings on Feb. 2.

Three sources have said that Yahoo has brushed off several possible buyers for the company's core Internet business, with some of the buyers being private equity firms. The sources wished to remain anonymous as the discussions are confidential.

Yahoo refused to issue a comment on the matter, but one of the sources said that the company will first want to see how shareholders will react once it reveals its strategic vision at the company's upcoming earnings call.

Last month, Yahoo revealed its decision to hold on to its $31 billion stake in Alibaba, and opted instead to move forward with a tax-free spinoff of the company's core Internet assets. The spinoff, which could take as much time as at least one year, would provide more transparency on the value of the business of Yahoo and could save stakeholders taxes worth billions of dollars.

Investors, however, are pushing for an outright sale of Yahoo's core Internet business as opposed to a spinoff. This is due to concerns that the business, which covers the sale of search and display advertisements on Yahoo's websites and email service, could see more losses in value amid competition with Alphabet's Google and Facebook.

The resistance of Yahoo to an outright sale primes the company for conflict against Starboard Value LP, an activist investor that earlier in January reinforced its call for Yahoo to auction off its core Internet assets.

The last time that Yahoo gauged the interest for its core Internet business was last month, before the board meeting that decided upon the spinoff of assets, according to one source. During the time, Yahoo requested for possible buyers to submit preliminary signs of interest and reveal their price for Yahoo's Internet business. However, there was no formal sale process that was launched.

Yahoo could find it difficult to resist the overtures of shareholders, but as investors including Mason Capital and Canyon Capital Advisors, on top of Starboard, are calling for an outright sale.

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Tags: Yahoo Spinoff