Following reports Verizon was exploring a sale of Yahoo and AOL, its Verizon Media business is being sold to Apollo Funds.
Verizon purchased Yahoo and AOL, both pioneers among the early internet companies. Although both had since fallen on hard times, the two brands still had large, loyal followings. Verizon’s goal was to build an advertising business that could rival Google and Facebook.
Unfortunately, the advertising business proved more difficult for Verizon to crack than it planned. Over the last several years, the company has been selling off some of its media properties, with Yahoo and AOL being the final piece. Apollo Funds has agreed to purchase Verizon Media for $5 billion. The new company will be known as Yahoo, and Verizon will maintain a 10% stake in it.
“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.”
“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.”
“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,” said David Sambur, Senior Partner and Co-Head of Private Equity at Apollo. “Apollo has a long track record of investing in technology and media companies and we look forward to drawing on that experience to help Yahoo continue to thrive.”
“Verizon Media has done an incredible job turning the business around over the past two and a half years and the growth potential is enormous,” said Hans Vestberg, CEO, Verizon. “The next iteration requires full investment and the right resources. During the strategic review process, Apollo delivered the strongest vision and strategy for the next phase of Verizon Media. I have full confidence that Yahoo will take off in its new home.”