Verizon to Acquire Yahoo's Operating Business

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Verizon to Acquire Yahoo's Operating Business

By Jamie Grill-Goodman - 07/25/2016
Verizon Communications Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. announce they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Verizon will acquire Yahoo's operating business for approximately $4.83 billion in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments.

Yahoo connects a global audience of more than 1 billion monthly active users -- including 600 million monthly active mobile users through its search, communications and digital content products. Yahoo also connects advertisers with target audiences through a streamlined advertising technology stack that combines the power of their data, content and technology.

Yahoo will be integrated with AOL under Marni Walden, EVP and President of the Product Innovation and New Businesses organization at Verizon.

The addition of Yahoo to Verizon and AOL will create one of the largest portfolios of owned and partnered global brands with extensive distribution capabilities. Combined, AOL and Yahoo will have more than 25 brands in its portfolio for continued investment and growth. Yahoo's key assets include market-leading premium content brands in major categories including finance, news and sports, as well as one of the most popular email services globally. Additional technology assets in the advertising space include Brightroll, a programmatic demand-side platform; Flurry, an independent mobile apps analytics service; and Gemini, a native and search advertising solution.

The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, approval by Yahoo's shareholders, and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in Q1 of 2017. Until the closing, Yahoo will continue to operate independently, offering and improving its own products and services for users, advertisers, developers and partners.

Verizon will generally issue cash-settled Verizon RSUs for Yahoo RSUs that are outstanding at the close.

The sale does not include Yahoo's cash, its shares in Alibaba Group Holdings, its shares in Yahoo Japan, Yahoo's convertible notes, certain minority investments, and Yahoo's non-core patents (called the Excalibur portfolio). These assets will continue to be held by Yahoo, which will change its name at closing and become a registered, publicly traded investment company. Yahoo will provide additional information about the investment company at a future date.

Yahoo intends to return substantially all of its net cash to shareholders and will determine and communicate a specific capital return strategy at an appropriate time.

LionTree Advisors, LLC, Allen & Company LLC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Guggenheim Securities, LLC are acting as financial advisors to Verizon. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Covington & Burling LLP and Winston & Strawn LLP are acting as legal advisors to Verizon.

Goldman, Sachs & Co., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and PJT Partners are acting as financial advisors to the Yahoo Board and its Strategic Review Committee. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP are acting as legal advisors to Yahoo. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is independent legal advisor to Yahoo's Strategic Review Committee.