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AT&T To Sell Yellow Pages Unit To Cerberus; To Take Stake In New Entity

Telecom giant AT&T Inc. (T) on Monday said it agreed to sell Advertising Solutions and Interactive business units, including Yellow Pages, to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. AT&T will receive about $750 million in cash as well as a $200 million note. AT&T will hold a 47-percent equity interest in the new entity YP Holdings LLC.

The transaction is subject to Hart Scott Rodino notification with the U.S. Department of Justice and is expected to close in mid-year 2012. The company expects a minimal effect on 2012 earnings from the deal and does not expect to record a material gain or loss.

The sale includes assets of advertising solutions unit, which delivers sales and customer support, and interactive unit, which conducts interactive product development.

The company noted that the new YP will include about 1,200 The Real Yellow Pages print directory titles, YP.com, the YPSM Local Ad Network that includes more than 300 mobile and online publisher websites, along with the YPmobile app, which allows users to search local businesses from their mobile devices. These units generated approximately $3.3 billion in revenues in 2011.

AT&T added that YP has agreed to honor existing union contracts.

However, the deal excludes the recently formed AT&T AdWorks, a New York-based operation that sells advertising offerings across 3-screen platforms such as online, mobile and TV.

Commenting on the deal, José Gutiérrez, president and CEO of AT&T Advertising Solutions, said, "It enables AT&T to focus on its core strategy of leadership in wireless, IP, cloud- and application-based services."

AT&T shares are currently trading at $30.74, down $0.20 or 0.65 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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