Verizon sells former Internet giants Yahoo and AOL for $5 billion
Verizon has announced the sale of AOL and Yahoo properties to Apollo Global Management, Inc. in a deal said to be worth $5 billion. Verizon initially acquired these properties for nearly $9 billion, so the sale price is considerably lower. Verizon will maintain a 10% stake in the company, which will be known as Yahoo when the transaction closes.
“We are excited to be joining forces with Apollo,” said Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media. Gowrappan will continue to lead Yahoo, according to a press release (via Axios). “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.”
Apollo is best known as the private equity firm that owns the Venetian resort in Las Vegas and crafts retailer Michaels.
In addition to AOL and Yahoo, the deal includes well-known properties like TechCrunch, Engadget, and a number of Yahoo brands, such as Yahoo Sports. Verizon has been on a selling spree lately, with the company also selling off Tumblr and Huffpost, the latter of which was purchased by Buzzfeed.
“We are thrilled to help unlock the tremendous potential of Yahoo and its unparalleled collection of brands,” said Reed Rayman, Private Equity Partner at Apollo. “We have enormous respect and admiration for the great work and progress that the entire organization has made over the last several years, and we look forward to working with Guru, his talented team, and our partners at Verizon to accelerate Yahoo’s growth in its next chapter.”
AOL and Yahoo are synonymous with the early internet and still have plenty of name recognition. It’s something Apollo wants to take advantage of when the acquisition is complete, with the company saying it’s a big believer in the growth prospects of Yahoo as it relates to digital media, advertising technology, and consumer internet platforms.