Yahoo’s Alibaba Spinoff Has a New Name, But It’s Already Taken

(San Jose Mercury News/TNS) -

Yahoo on Friday introduced the world to Aabaco Holdings, their name for the spinoff entity that will take over the tech company’s more than $30 billion worth of shares in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

When Yahoo spins off its 15 percent Alibaba stake later this year, Aabaco will own all 384 million of its shares that will be distributed tax-free back to Yahoo shareholders.

What’s in the name? It sounds a little like an ode to Alibaba, but Yahoo won’t say for sure, declining to comment during the quiet period ahead of Tuesday’s quarterly earnings report.

Which left some wondering why Yahoo chose a name that’s already being used by at least one U.S. company: Aabaco Plastics, which makes bubble bags, foam bags, pallet covers and trash bags near the banks of the Cuyahoga River in Garfield Heights, Ohio.

“Aabaco” has also been used by a New England paving company in the early 20th century, and a Florida firm that aims to clean up oil spills and other messes.

But the Ohio plastics company has the longest tenure. It was founded in 1952 and incorporated as Aabaco in 1968.

So what does the manufacturer think of the new spinoff name, news of which broke at the close of the business day in the eastern United States?

“It’s not something we’ve trademarked. We’re in totally different industries,” said John Roberts, an employee who answered the phone at the plant late Friday.

He added that, as the maintenance guy, “it’s not really my department,” but to check back with management on Monday.