By Gautham Nagesh - 03/02/11 04:44 PM EST
Yahoo Inc is negotiating to sell its 35 percent stake in Yahoo Japan to partner Softbank for as much as $8 billion, according to various reports.
Softbank currently owns 40 percent of Yahoo Japan. Founder and major shareholder Masayoshi Son has reportedly attacked Yahoo's track record as an innovator and its strategy for international markets. Yahoo's offering is the most-visited Web portal in Japan.
Yahoo could use the cash to support its domestic operations, where the firm has steadily lost ground to rival Google in the search market. CEO Carol Bartz has also drawn increasing criticism in the press for her management style.
Yahoo has refocused on its online advertising and content businesses during Bartz's tenure, but the firm's stock price has plummeted. Yahoo has struggled to adapt to changes in the habits of online users, who are increasingly turning to social networks such as Facebook rather than to portals for content.
Some observers have suggested the sale is also motivated by Yahoo's desire to turn its attention toward China, where it owns 40 percent of prominent Web firm Alibaba. Softbank also owns a stake in Alibaba.