Word spread over the weekend about the pending deal, but now it’s official. As part of the acquisition, Yahoo will be integrated with AOL under Marni Walden, Verizon’s EVP and president of product innovation and new business organization.
“Just over a year ago, we acquired AOL to enhance our strategy of providing a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers,” said Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and CEO, in a press release. “The acquisition of Yahoo will put Verizon in a highly competitive position as a top global mobile media company, and help accelerate our revenue stream in digital advertising.”
The selection of Verizon wasn’t exactly a surprise, as it had always been the presumptive front-runner in the bid to purchase the once-mighty search engine company.
Near the beginning of the year, Yahoo announced that it was implementing an “aggressive strategic plan,” having exhausted all attempts at a successful turnaround. After four years of leadership under CEO Marissa Mayer, shareholders had lost patience, which led to their ultimately putting the company on the market for interested buyers.
Over the past few months, Yahoo has entertained a number of possible suitors for its core business. And while Verizon had been the odds-on favorite, other bidders included private equity firm TPG, a group of investors led by Quicken Loans’ Dan Gilbert, and AT&T. Some had even claimed that Yellow Pages parent company YP, as well as Time and Daily Mail, were interested in the tech giant.
Yahoo’s board formed an independent panel to explore options and engaged bankers Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and PJT as financial advisors, along with Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, as the company’s legal advisor.
“The sale of our operating business, which effectively separates our Asian asset equity stakes, is an important step in our plan to unlock shareholder value for Yahoo,” said Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer in the announcement.