Verizon has officially sold AOL and Yahoo and took a substantial loss in the process.
As spotted on The Verge, Verizon sold AOL and Yahoo properties to Apollo Global Management in a deal that is reportedly worth about $5 billion. Now, that’s nothing to sneeze at if you’re a regular person, but Verizon sold both properties for roughly half of the $9 billion it what it paid for both entities. Apollo, a private equity firm, is best known for owning the Venetian resort in Las Vegas and the crafts retailer Michaels.
Apollo made headlines and not in a good way after its co-founder Leon Black stepped down after revealing that he paid over $150 million to alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein who committed suicide while in police custody.
Speaking on the deal, Apollo partner Reed Rayman stated, “We are thrilled to help unlock the tremendous potential of Yahoo and its unparalleled collection of brands. We have enormous respect and admiration for the great work and progress that the entire organization has made over the last several years, and we look forward to working with Guru, his talented team, and our partners at Verizon to accelerate Yahoo’s growth in its next chapter.”
During the initial purchase in 2015, Verizon paid $4.4 billion for AOL and another $4.5 billion for Yahoo two years later. As part of the deal at the time, Verizon gained media sites Yahoo Sports, TechCrunch, and Engadget that were all placed under one umbrella called Oath before being renamed to Verizon Media Group in 2018, a move the company made only after writing off half of its value.
Verizon would also sell Tumblr in 2019 for $3 million, a far cry from the $1.1 billion Yahoo paid for the blogging platform in 2013. That’s not all either. Verizon also sold Huffpost to Buzzfeed. AOL originally purchased the property for $315 million in 2011.
Before there were things like Wi-Fi and internet provided through your cable television and phone service providers, people used AOL (America Online) to connect to the internet. At the height of its popularity, AOL had a market capitalization of more than $200 billion. Before Google took over, Yahoo was the home page of browsers everywhere plus AOL’s front page and at one time was worth $125 billion.
That is no longer the case as both companies are mere shadows of their former selves.
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