What do you think happens to Yahoo! Japan's stock price and earnings per share as soon as they close a deal with Yahoo and retire those shares? They shoot up significantly.
Therefore, Yahoo! would like a premium to the "market price" of its shares, which it feels are already unfairly depressed.
So, the two sides will likely continue to argue over that for a while. In the meantime, Yahoo! Japan's revenue, gross profit and cash levels keep going up.
One structure that had been reported as being discussed between Yahoo! and SoftBank (as of about last May/June) was the idea of structuring the deal as a cash-rich split.
In this scenario, let's say Yahoo!'s stake was worth $6 billion at the time. The two sides would agree that SoftBank would give Yahoo $3 billion in cash and $1.5 billion in "other assets" (which could be ones SoftBank owns or if it went out and bought
or whatever). Neither side would pay taxes since it would be a swap of assets. It's a perfectly legitimate structure.
SoftBank would say it should be at a discount to the "market price" because Yahoo! doesn't have to pay taxes. However, Yahoo! can argue that neither does SoftBank pay taxes and founder Masayoshi Son is still going to see Yahoo! Japan's stock and EPS explode after the deal closes.
With SoftBank now a big player in the U.S. wireless market, there might even be a way for Yahoo! and SoftBank to partner more closely on some mobile offerings that could benefit both sides moving forward.
The bottom line is that you should ignore those who say SoftBank buying Sprint is bad for Yahoo!. If anything, it's a net positive.
At the time of publication, the author had a position in YHOO
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.