Verizon to sell media business, including Yahoo, AOL, to Apollo for US$5 billion

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Verizon Communications is getting rid of its media businesses that include iconic brands Yahoo and AOL for US$5 billion (S$6.6 billion), ending an expensive and unsuccessful run in the media and advertising world.

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc said on Monday it has agreed to sell its media unit, that includes Yahoo and AOL, to Apollo Global Management Inc for US$5 billion (S$6.7 billion), as it looks to offload its digital media business.

Verizon has struggled to grow its media business, declaring them nearly worthless, with a US$4.6 billion write-down in 2018.

Bigger players such as Facebook and Google have swept the digital advertising market.

Verizon will get US$4.25 billion in cash, preferred interests of US$750 million and retain a 10 per cent stake in Verizon Media, as part of the deal terms.

The business will be called Yahoo when the deal closes, which is expected in the second half of 2021, the company said. Verizon Media's portfolio includes online brands such as TechCrunch, Makers, Ryot and Flurry, according to its website.

It reported revenue of US$1.9 billion in the first quarter of 2021. In 2017, Verizon bought Yahoo's Internet properties for about US$4.48 billion, betting that its one billion-plus users would be a fertile audience for online ads. It acquired e-mail service AOL for US$4.4 billion in 2015.

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