With Verizon’s long-anticipated sale of its media business now finally in progress — by way of a deal, announced earlier today, with private equity firm Apollo paying $5 billion for Yahoo, AOL and the many various internet brands and services that are part of the operation (including us, WBHnews) — the next very likely question is, what comes next?
Hans Vestberg, the CEO of Verizon, laid out a taste of what is to come: commerce, content and betting.
In an internal memo to employees, Vestberg said that Apollo’s “powerful vision” will be not just playing on revenue-generating businesses that have been grown out as a part of Verizon Media, but leveraging that to work with other assets that Apollo has in its portfolio, which include a pretty wide range of companies in the TMT sector such as Rackspace and Charter Communications, as well as a ton of other kinds of companies across retail, financial services, industrial and manufacturing, and more.
That could involve more advertising or sales customers — Claire’s, the accessories chain, is also in the Apollo mix — or something else altogether.
“What made Apollo’s offer so appealing, is that it includes leveraging the entire Verizon Media ecosystem of adtech, affiliate relationships, data, insights, targeting and reach,” Vestberg said.
You can read a bigger analysis of the deal here. The full memo is below.
Moments ago we made an important announcement. We’ve entered into an agreement with a leading global investment manager, Apollo, to acquire Verizon Media. While this is a bittersweet moment, Verizon will maintain a minority stake in the new company, which upon deal closing will be called Yahoo.
This is a big step forward for our Media team. A team that delivered an incredible turnaround these past 2.5 years – capped off by the last 2 quarters of double digit growth. This move will help accelerate that growth.
After a strategic review, Guru and I discussed, and believed, that the full value of Media’s offerings have yet to be unlocked. Apollo has a powerful vision that includes aggressively pursuing growth areas in commerce, content and betting. One that also features synergies with many of the traditional brick and mortar companies in their portfolio who can benefit from Media’s e-commerce platform. What made Apollo’s offer so appealing, is that it includes leveraging the entire Verizon Media ecosystem of adtech, affiliate relationships, data, insights, targeting and reach.
I believe this move is right for all of our stakeholders including the Media employees. Our purpose is to create the networks that move the world forward, and this will help us better focus all our energy and resources on our core competencies.
I couldn’t be more proud of the work that Guru, his leadership team, and the entire Media team of “Builders” has done to get to this point. In fact, it’s important to note that Guru will continue in his current leadership role.
As a reminder, as with any deal like this, the transition will take time to complete. It’s important that we continue to stay focused on our ongoing work together, across all our business units and continue to deliver the best customer experiences we are known for.
This is but one more chapter in an iconic and storied brand. I am excited about where they will take the new Yahoo.