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Can you hear me now? Verizon is selling Yahoo and AOL for $5B

Once-great brands from the early internet era will now be in the hands of private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

Can you hear me now? Verizon is selling Yahoo and AOL for $5B
[Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images]
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You’ve got mail about a deal.

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Verizon announced today that it’s selling Verizon Media, which includes Yahoo and AOL, for $5 billion.

The company is taking a hit. In 2015, it bought AOL for $4.4 billion and in 2017, it acquired Yahoo for $4.48 billion.

The Verizon Media buyer is Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm, whose portfolio also includes the security company ADT and Twinkies maker Hostess Brands.

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The deal expected to close in the second half of this year.

According to the terms, Verizon will retain a 10% stake in Verizon Media and receive $4.25 billion in cash and preferred interests of $750 million.

Other Verizon Media brands include TechCrunch, Endgadget, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, and Autoblog.

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But the two marquee brands, both darlings of the early internet era, are past their prime. AOL was once the internet service provider of choice, known as much for its robust chat-room culture as for the amply offered free trail memberships. Its “You’ve got mail” alert became so familiar that it even inspired a popular Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan rom-com. Yahoo was the search engine people relied on and Yahoo Groups reigned.

Then, Google and Facebook stepped in.

“The past two quarters of double-digit growth have demonstrated our ability to transform our media ecosystem,” Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan said in a written statement. “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,”

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Verizon stock was $58.10 per share, up 31 cents or 0.54%, in pre-market trading, while Apollo Global Management stock was $56.10, up 73 cents or 1.32%.