Verizon Exits Media Biz; Offloads Yahoo And AOL To Apollo Global In $5 Bln Deal

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) has offloaded its digital media assets, which includes Yahoo and AOL, to the private equity firm Apollo Global Management in a deal valued at $5 billion.

Under the the deal, Verizon will receive $4.25 billion in cash, preferred interests of $750 million and retain a 10% stake in Verizon Media. The deal includes the assets of Verizon Media, including its brands and businesses. The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2021.

Verizon will retain a 10% stake in the company, which will be known as Yahoo at close of the transaction and continue to be led by CEO Guru Gowrappan.

"We are excited to be joining forces with Apollo," said Guru Gowrappan, CEO, Verizon Media. "The past two quarters of double-digit growth have demonstrated our ability to transform our media ecosystem. 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. This transition will help to accelerate our growth for the long- term success of the company."

Verizon had purchased AOL in 2015 and Yahoo in 2017 for a sum of more than $9 billion. In 2020, Verizon's digital media segment, including Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Mail and news sites like TechCrunch, Engadget, brought in revenues of $7 billion, down 5.6 percent from last year. This was mainly due to a sharp fall in advertising revenues in the first half of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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