The sale includes AOL and Yahoo, which Verizon has bought for a total of $ 9 billion in recent years. Verizon will retain a 10% stake in the spin-off and the name of Verizon Media Group will be changed to just Yahoo.
Verizon once had big plans to become a dominant player in the online media and advertising industry. The phone company bought AOL for $ 4.4 billion in 2015 and further bolstered its portfolio with its purchase of Yahoo at a similar price in 2017. The unit was briefly named Oath, but Verizon admitted its intention to resume Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) was essentially a waste when it took a $ 4.6 billion depreciation on Oath in 2018.
In a press release, Verizon (VZ) said the sale allows the company to “aggressively pursue areas of growth and is expected to benefit its employees, advertisers, publishing partners and nearly 900 million monthly active users worldwide.”
“With Apollo’s industry expertise and strategic vision, Yahoo will be well positioned to capitalize on market opportunities, media and transaction experience and continue to develop our comprehensive digital advertising platform,” Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan said in the statement. Gowrappan will continue to lead the new company.
The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2021. Verizon shares opened a little higher.