- Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE: VZ) is near a deal to sell Yahoo and AOL to the private equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc (NYSE: APO), renouncing its digital ad competition with Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) to focus on 5G network building, the New York Times reports.
- The upcoming deal is estimated to value the brands between $4 billion and $5 billion, including Verizon’s advertising technology business.
- Verizon had acquired AOL for $4.4 billion in 2015. AOL head Tim Armstrong aspired to build a “house of brands” at Verizon under the Oath division. Verizon had acquired Yahoo! ’s internet properties for $4.5 billion in 2017 to tap its over one billion users for online ads. However, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg wrote off over $4 billion of its media holdings and renamed Verizon Media Group’s division after assuming charge in 2018.
- Verizon Media’s online brand portfolio includes TechCrunch, Ryot, Built By Girls, and Flurry. The division posted Q1 revenue growth of 12% year-on-year to $1.9 billion.
- The media business did not prove to be fruitful. Verizon inked an agreement with The Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) in 2019 to offer its new streaming service Disney+ for free to its customers. Interestingly, AT&T Inc (NYSE: T) acquired Time Warner for $85 billion in 2018 to create its streaming platform, HBO Max.
- Verizon agreed to pay $53 billion in March to license wireless airwaves to help it expand its 5G infrastructure. Verizon also plans to spend $10 billion over the next few years to wire more cell towers and upgrade its systems. The company’s total debt has crossed $180 billion.
- Price action: VZ shares traded higher by 0.02% at $57.8 in the premarket session on the last check Monday.
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