Verizon Communications has announced that it has reached a definitive agreement under which it will acquire Yahoo’s operating business for approximately USD4.83 billion in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. Yahoo’s key assets include premium content brands in major categories including finance, news and sports, as well as one of the most popular email services globally, with approximately 225 million monthly active users. The sale does not include Yahoo’s cash, its shares in Alibaba Group Holdings, its shares in Yahoo Japan, Yahoo’s convertible notes, certain minority investments, and Yahoo’s non-core patents (called the Excalibur portfolio). These assets will continue to be held by Yahoo, which will change its name at closing and become a registered, publicly traded investment company. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, approval by Yahoo’s shareholders and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in 1Q17. Until the closing of the transaction, Yahoo will continue to operate independently.
Going forward, Verizon says that Yahoo will be integrated with AOL – acquired by Verizon for USD4.4 billion in May 2015 – under Marni Walden, EVP and President of the Product Innovation and New Businesses unit at Verizon. The addition of Yahoo to Verizon and AOL will create one of the largest portfolios of owned and partnered global brands with extensive distribution capabilities. Combined, AOL and Yahoo will have more than 25 brands in its portfolio for continued investment and growth. Additional technology assets in the advertising space include Brightroll, a programmatic demand-side platform; Flurry, an independent mobile apps analytics service; and Gemini, a native and search advertising solution.