Daily Management Review

Verizon To Sell Off Yahoo And AOL For $5 Billion


Verizon To Sell Off Yahoo And AOL For $5 Billion
The media business of Verizon Communications Inc will be sold off by the company. These businesses include those of the iconic brands Yahoo and AOL. The company expects to generate $5 billion from those deals. This move will bring an end to the expensive and unsuccessful foray of the company in the media and advertising world.
In the highly competitive internet advertising industry that is dominated by Facebook Inc and Google, the New York-based telecom company has not managed to make much headway even after trying out for more than a decade in the industry and spending billions of dollars acquisitions of a number of internet brands. The company has instead now focused its resources on developing 5G networks.
In 2018, Verizon had written off $4.6 billion in the value of those businesses that it is selling off. The company now will get only $4.25 billion in cash from private equity firm Apollo Global as well as preferred interests of $750 million. Verizon will also be getting a 10 per cent stake in the unit - about half of what it had paid for the businesses.
With the sale of these businesses, the steady selling off of such business by the company will come to an end which has included offloading of blogging platform Tumblr in 2019 for an undisclosed amount and selling of the news website HuffPost to BuzzFeed last year.
This steady sell off of its media businesses has been done by Verizon after the company appointed Hans Vestberg as the chief executive of the company. The change in business focus came after the former CEO of the wireless provider Lowell McAdam, who was instrumental in creating the vision of the company to become a media and telecom giant, was replaced by Vestberg.
Earlier this year, the company had spent $52.9 billion for C-band spectrum in the government auction which set the priority of the company of building out the telecom network as devised by Vestberg.
When the deal gets completed in the second half of 2021, the divested unit will be called Yahoo, while it was previously named Oath and recently renamed Verizon Media. Guru Gowrappan will continue to be the head of the business unit.
For Apollo, the deal comes at a time when the big internet platforms have sewn up huge portions of the digital advertising market, drawing regulatory scrutiny over their practices.
Interest in purchasing the Yahoo asset when it ran a process in 2017 was expressed by Apollo, which is an investor in Shutterly and Expedia Inc.
Expanding advertising and ecommerce and securing growth in key assets including Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Sports through new business initiatives, such as subscriptions, will be the aim of the private equity firm said Reed Rayman, partner at Apollo.
Last fall, engaging potential buyers was started by Verizon. According to reports published previously, the company had been looking out for buyers for Yahoo back in 2019. According to some estimates of the industry, the Yahoo business alone has a value of around $2 billion.