Yahoo due back today after five-year gap as Verizon sells for $5bn
Yahoo is due to be back as a brand today, with the expected completion of private equity group Apollo’s acquisition of the operation from Verizon.
Apollo agreed to spend US$5 billion on the business, currently called Verizon Media, in May 2021. The deal to buy the company, which will revert to the Yahoo name, is due to be completed today.
However even hours before the expected completion, Apollo had not confirmed who would be running the company. CNBC reported a few days ago that Apollo has not told Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan whether he will be retained.
Back in May Gowrappan expressed delight at the new ownership. “We are excited to be joining forces with Apollo. The past two quarters of double-digit growth have demonstrated our ability to transform our media ecosystem,” he said.
“With Apollo’s sector expertise and strategic insight, Yahoo will be well positioned to capitalize on market opportunities, media and transaction experience and continue to grow our full stack digital advertising platform. This transition will help to accelerate our growth for the long-term success of the company.”
At the time of the deal Apollo partner Reed Rayman said: “We look forward to working with Guru, his talented team, and our partners at Verizon to accelerate Yahoo’s growth in its next chapter.”
CNBC reported that Apollo has been working with Egon Zehnder, an executive search firm, to seek out new leaders for the business.
Verizon bought Yahoo – or Yahoo!, as it then was – in 2016 for $4.8 billion in cash, marking the apparent end of what 15 years before had been the unrivalled leader in internet search and mail, before Google moved in.
Verizon will hold on to a 10% stake in the new Yahoo.
The acquirer, Apollo, has become highly acquisitive in telecoms, media and technology.
Only last month, Lumen Technologies said it would sell its incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) business across 20 states in the US to Apollo for $7.5 billion.
A few days before US fibre-based carrier FirstDigital Telecom received a $200 million investment from Apollo.
In July Bloomberg named Apollo as one of five private equity companies that are interested in buying T-Mobile Netherlands from Deutsche Telekom.
And apart from the urgent question of the senior management, Apollo has not said whether Yahoo will have its exclamation mark restored, and return to being the Yahoo! of the early days of the web.