Apollo Global Management has agreed to acquire Verizon Media for $5 billion. When the deal closes, Verizon will retain a 10 percent stake in the company, which will operate as Yahoo and continue to be led by CEO Guru Gowrappan. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2021. Goldman Sachs served as lead financial advisor to Verizon on the transaction while Evercore also served as financial advisor to Verizon. Also, LionTree served as the lead financial advisor and will co-invest alongside Apollo. Verizon Media is a global tech and media company comprised of brands such as Yahoo and AOL, as well as other ad tech and media platform businesses.
NEW YORK, May 3, 2021 – Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Apollo Global Management, Inc. (NYSE: APO) (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, “Apollo”) today announced that funds managed by affiliates of Apollo (the “Apollo Funds”) entered into an agreement to acquire Verizon Media for $5 billion. Verizon will retain a 10% stake in the company, which will be known as Yahoo at close of the transaction and continue to be led by CEO Guru Gowrappan.
One of the world’s premier global technology and media companies, Verizon Media is comprised of iconic brands such as Yahoo and AOL, as well as leading ad tech and media platform businesses. The corporate carveout will allow Verizon Media to aggressively pursue growth areas and stands to benefit its employees, advertisers, publishing partners and nearly 900 million monthly active users worldwide.
“We are excited to be joining forces with Apollo,” said Guru Gowrappan, CEO, Verizon Media. “The past two quarters of double-digit growth have demonstrated our ability to transform our media ecosystem. 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.”
“We are thrilled to help unlock the tremendous potential of Yahoo and its unparalleled collection of brands,” said Reed Rayman, Private Equity Partner at Apollo. “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.”
“We are big believers in the growth prospects of Yahoo and the macro tailwinds driving growth in digital media, advertising technology and consumer internet platforms,” said David Sambur, Senior Partner and Co-Head of Private Equity at Apollo. “Apollo has a long track record of investing in technology and media companies and we look forward to drawing on that experience to help Yahoo continue to thrive.”
“Verizon Media has done an incredible job turning the business around over the past two and a half years and the growth potential is enormous,” said Hans Vestberg, CEO, Verizon. “The next iteration requires full investment and the right resources. During the strategic review process, Apollo delivered the strongest vision and strategy for the next phase of Verizon Media. I have full confidence that Yahoo will take off in its new home.”
Verizon Media reported strong, diversified year-over-year revenue growth the past two quarters, driven by innovative ad offerings, consumer ecommerce, subscriptions, betting and strategic partnerships. Yahoo, one of the best recognized digital media brands in the world and the fourth most visited internet property globally, continues to evolve as a key destination for finance and news among Gen Z. This was most recently marked by Yahoo News becoming the fastest growing news organization on TikTok.
Under the terms of the agreement, Verizon will receive $4.25 billion in cash, preferred interests of $750 million and retain a 10% stake in Verizon Media. The transaction includes the assets of Verizon Media, including its brands and businesses. The transaction is subject to satisfaction of certain closing conditions and expected to close in the second half of 2021.
Goldman Sachs served as lead financial advisor to Verizon in the transaction. Evercore also served as financial advisor to Verizon. Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP are serving as legal counsel to Verizon.
LionTree served as lead financial advisor to and will invest alongside the Apollo Funds, bringing its global strategic relationships to Yahoo as the company continues to accelerate growth and pursue strategic investments in key verticals and product areas.
RBC Capital Markets also served as financial advisor to the Apollo Funds in connection with the transaction, alongside Barclays, BMO Capital Markets Corp., Deutsche Bank and Mizuho Securities USA LLC; all are also providing financing for the transaction. Mizuho Securities USA LLC also served as lead structuring advisor to the Apollo Funds. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is serving as legal counsel to the Apollo Funds.
Apollo is a leading global investment manager with offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, Bethesda, London, Frankfurt, Madrid, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo, among others. Apollo had assets under management of approximately $455 billion as of December 31, 2020 in credit, private equity and real assets funds. For more information about Apollo, please visit www.apollo.com.
About Verizon Media
Verizon Media, a division of Verizon Communications, Inc., houses a trusted media ecosystem of premium brands like Yahoo, TechCrunch and Engadget to help people stay informed and entertained, communicate and transact, while creating new ways for advertisers and media partners to connect. From XR experiences to advertising and content technology, Verizon Media is an incubator of innovation and is revolutionizing the next generation of content creation in a 5G world.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology, communications, information and entertainment products and services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $128.3 billion in 2020. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.