Shares of Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), the No. 3 search engine, jumped as much as 6 percent in early trading Friday on a rumor it had finally made a deal to sell at least part of its 40-percent stake in China's Alibaba Group (Pink: ALBCF).

Yahoo shares rose 55 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $15.42 at the market close, valuing the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based media company at $18.9 billion.

Yahoo representatives declined to comment.

Reports by Bloomberg News said Yahoo had finally agreed to sell about half of its stake in Alibaba, keeping the rest.

If this deal were completed, Yahoo could receive as much as $7 billion.

The deal would be the first success for interim CEO Ross Lowensohn, who was appointed on May 12 after Scott Thompson quit following disclosures by Third Point Capital, a hedge fund seeking to take over the company, that he and co-director Patti Hart had filed embellished documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Both had claimed receiving academic degrees that were never awarded.

Subsequently, Third Point principal Daniel Loeb and two allies were elected Yahoo directors after a standstill agreement was signed.

Third Point had said Yahoo hadn't gotten the benefits of its Alibaba holdings, as well as those in Yahoo Japan (Tokyo: 4689) and its own media properties.

Separately, Thompson also resigned as a director of F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV) on Friday.