Verizon offloads Yahoo and AOL in $5 billion deal

Verizon offloads Yahoo and AOL in $5 billion deal
Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan appears at a 2019 event. Source: Verizon Media
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Daily US Times: Verizon is exiting its media business, announcing on Monday that the company is selling the unit for $5 billion to private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

The sale includes Yahoo and AOL, which Verizon bought for a combined $9 billion in recent years. Verizon will retain a 10% stake in the spin off and the Verizon Media Group name is going to be changed to just Yahoo.

Once, Verizon had big goals to become a dominant player in the online media and ad business. In 2015, the telephone company bought AOL for $4.4 billion and further bolstered its portfolio with its Yahoo purchase at a similar price in the year of 2017. The unit was briefly named Oath, but Verizon admitted that its plans to take on Amazon, Google and Facebook was essentially a waste when it took a $4.6 billion writedown on Oath in 2018.

The company said in a press release that the sale allows the company to “aggressively pursue growth areas and stands to benefit its employees, advertisers, publishing partners and nearly 900 million monthly active users worldwide.”

Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan in the release that with Apollo’s sector expertise and strategic insight, Yahoo will be well positioned to capitalize on market opportunities, media and transaction experience and continue to grow our full stack digital advertising platform.

Guru Gowrappan will continue to lead the new company.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of this year. Verizon’s shares opened slightly higher.

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