Verizon has announced a sell-off of its media business to Apollo Global Management; a private equity company, in a deal valued at $5 billion as it concentrates on its wireless business and the construction of a network for advanced 5G services.
The deal which includes Verizon’s advertising technology business will see Verizon Media, the business housing the two brands renamed to Yahoo as it hold on to a 10 percent stake in the newly formed media group whilst also retaining Guru Gowarappan as Verizon’s Chief executive.
Verizon, in 2015 acquired AOL at $4.4 billion. In 2017, however, the phone company bought the internet property of Yahoo internet properties for about $4.5 billion with an assumption that Yahoo’s over 1 billion customers would serve as a breakthrough for online ads.
In 2018, after it installed Hans Vestberg as Verizon’s CEO, the company lost more than $4 billion of its media holdings, translating to roughly half the business value as it renamed the division Verizon Media Group.
“We are thrilled to help unlock the tremendous potential of Yahoo and its unparalleled collection of brands. 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.” said Reed Rayman, private equity partner at Apollo.
Also commenting on the deal, David Sambur, senior partner and co-head, private equities, Apollo said, “We are big believers in the growth prospects of Yahoo and the macro tailwinds driving growth in digital media, advertising technology and consumer internet platforms.”