Verizon Communications Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. say they have finalised plans for Verizon to buy Yahoo’s operating business for about $4.83 billion in cash.
Yahoo informs, connects and entertains a global audience of more than 1 billion monthly active users, including 600 million monthly active mobile users through its search, communications and digital content products.
Yahoo also connects advertisers with target audiences through a streamlined advertising technology stack that combines the power of their data, content and technology.
According to the statement released by both companies, 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.
Yahoo will be integrated with AOL under Marni Walden, EVP and President of the Product Innovation and New Businesses organisation at Verizon, according to the statement.
Lowell McAdam, Verizon Chairman and CEO, says, “Just over a year ago we acquired AOL to enhance our strategy of providing a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers. The acquisition of Yahoo will put Verizon in a highly competitive position as a top global mobile media company, and help accelerate our revenue stream in digital advertising.”
Also commenting on the deal, Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, says, “Yahoo is a company that has changed the world, and will continue to do so through this combination with Verizon and AOL.
“The sale of our operating business, which effectively separates our Asian asset equity stakes, is an important step in our plan to unlock shareholder value for Yahoo. This transaction also sets up a great opportunity for Yahoo to build further distribution and accelerate our work in mobile, video, native advertising and social.”
Mayer adds, “Yahoo and AOL popularized the Internet, email, search and real-time media. It’s poetic to be joining forces with AOL and Verizon as we enter our next chapter focused on achieving scale on mobile.
We have a terrific, loyal, experienced and quality team, and I couldn’t be prouder of our achievements to date, including building our new lines of business to $1.6 billion in GAAP revenue in 2015. I’m excited to extend our momentum through this transaction.”
Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL comments: “Our mission at AOL is to build brands people love, and we will continue to invest in and grow them. Yahoo has been a long-time investor in premium content and created some of the most beloved consumer brands in key categories like sports, news and finance.”
Additional technology assets in the deal include Brightroll, a programmatic demand-side platform; Flurry, an independent mobile apps analytics service; and Gemini, a native and search advertising solution.
The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, approval by Yahoo’s shareholders, and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in Q1 of 2017.
Until the closing, Yahoo will continue to operate independently, offering and improving its own products and services for users, advertisers, developers and partners.
Yahoo says it intends to return substantially all of its net cash to shareholders and will determine and communicate a specific capital return strategy at an appropriate time.