Apollo Global Management will pay about $5 billion to acquire Verizon Media, which includes Yahoo and AOL, from Verizon Communications. The new company will be called Yahoo.
News of the sale broke last week when The Wall Street Journal reported that a purchase was drawing near. Now the media outlet has confirmed the sale this morning.
Apollo, a private-equity firm, plans to pay $4.25 billion in cash for a majority stake in the media assets. Verizon Communications will hold an interest in the businesses of about $750 million. The WSJ also reports that it will keep a 10% stake in the new Yahoo.
Yahoo's brand-name equity remains strong. Founded by Jerry Yang and and David Filo in 1994, Yahoo was an early pioneering internet company. The name is synonymous with web, search, email and other media content services such as news, finance, and sports.
Verizon acquired AOL in 2015 and Yahoo in 2017 for about $9 billion, according to reports. The combined companies were used to build out its media group called Oath, led by former AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. Then in 2019, Verizon renamed the business Verizon Media Group.
Verizon had hoped to create content and become one of the world’s largest owners of first-party data across mobile. This would allow it to compete with Google, Microsoft and Facebook, but Yahoo had failed to win significant market share to date.
The group initially focused on native advertising, and built out a business to support guaranteed programmatic. The company also partnered with Microsoft Bing to serve search ads across its search engine.
Yahoo in March took a major step to redesign its web and mobile app and web experiences, from ecommerce and email to search and news. Verizon Media called it an opt-in personalized experience across all its properties, complete with alerts for individual users such as billing and expense notifications, news, and email, as well as details on deals based on browsing and searches, deliveries for purchases, and to-do lists.
Joanna Lambert, head of consumer at Verizon Media, at the time told Search & Performance Marketing Daily that Yahoo planned to conduct tests with users during the next several months, giving them the opportunity to try the new experience through Yahoo Mail and other services. With this goal, the company showed that it is increasing its focus on consumer privacy.