The sale does not include Yahoo’s cash, shares in Alibaba Group Holdings, its shares in Yahoo Japan, Yahoo’s and non-core patents according to the Verizon press release.
Yahoo will, however, change its name after the acquisition to become a registered, publicly traded investment company.
Verizon acquired AOL over a year ago. Together with the Yahoo transaction this will boost Verizon’s user base to over 1B mobile technology users with an impressive array of the world’s top brands.
Both companies will be under Marni Walden, EVP and President of the Product Innovation and New Businesses organization at Verizon.
Commenting on the acquisition, both Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo and Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL were upbeat about the acquisition.
Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo:
“Yahoo is a company that has changed the world, and will continue to do so through this combination with Verizon and AOL. 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. This transaction also sets up a great opportunity for Yahoo to build further distribution and accelerate our work in mobile, video, native advertising and social.”
Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL:
“Our mission at AOL is to build brands people love, and we will continue to invest in and grow them. Yahoo has been a long-time investor in premium content and created some of the most beloved consumer brands in key categories like sports, news and finance.”
In an open letter to employees on Yahoo’s Tumblr page, Mayer indicated that she’d like to stay on in some capacity after her company gets acquired by Verizon.
This is not the first time Yahoo and AOL have worked together say the two CEOs. According to Mayer, the union would now focus on achieving scale on mobile. Armstrong praised Yahoo’s accomplishments, alluding that the union was meant to focus on “unleashing Yahoo’s full potential, building upon our collective synergies, and strengthening and accelerating that growth.”
From analysis of both Yahoo and AOL, it appears that Verizon had an eye firmly on Yahoo’s internet affiliate advertising potential to leverage AOL’s content strength. Yahoo is also said to have the most structured and authenticated business directory in the market.
Only time will tell what Verizon will do with the full potential of Yahoo, whose value has been decreasing over the last few decades with the onslaught of Google on the once dominant internet giant.