Verizon, Yahoo agree to $350m discounted deal

By:
Jason McGee-Abe
Published on:

Verizon Communications and Yahoo! have agreed to a $350 million discount for the purchase of Yahoo’s operating business, a deal which is now valued at $4.48bn and expected to close in Q2 2017

Yahoo logoUnder the amended terms, Verizon and Yahoo have agreed to reduce the price Verizon will pay to acquire Yahoo’s operating business by $350 million. In addition, Verizon and Yahoo will share certain legal and regulatory liabilities arising from certain data breaches incurred by Yahoo. The news comes after Yahoo issued a third cyber threat warning last week to customers that hackers may have used intricate technologies to hack their accounts.

“We have always believed this acquisition makes strategic sense. We look forward to moving ahead expeditiously so that we can quickly welcome Yahoo’s tremendous talent and assets into our expanding portfolio in the digital advertising space,” said Marni Walden, Verizon executive vice president and president of product innovation and new businesses.

“The amended terms of the agreement provide a fair and favourable outcome for shareholders. It provides protections for both sides and delivers a clear path to close the transaction in the second quarter.”

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, who announced in January that she will step down if Verizon completes the takeover, added: “We continue to be very excited to join forces with Verizon and AOL. This transaction will accelerate Yahoo's operating business especially on mobile, while effectively separating our Asian asset equity stakes. It is an important step to unlock shareholder value for Yahoo, and we can now move forward with confidence and certainty. We have a terrific, loyal, experienced team at Yahoo. I'm incredibly proud of our team’s strong product and financial execution in 2016, setting the stage for a successful integration.”

Under the amended terms, Yahoo will be responsible for 50% of any cash liabilities incurred following the closing related to non-SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) government investigations and third-party litigation related to the breaches. Liabilities arising from shareholder lawsuits and SEC investigations will continue to be the responsibility of Yahoo.

Also under the amended terms, the data breaches or losses arising from them will not be taken into account in determining whether a “Business Material Adverse Effect” has occurred or whether certain closing conditions have been satisfied.

On 23 July, 2016, Verizon and Yahoo entered into a definitive stock purchase agreement under which Verizon would acquire Yahoo’s operating business and global audience of more than 1 billion users, including more than 600 million mobile users.

Adding Yahoo to Verizon and AOL will create one of the largest portfolios of owned and partnered global brands, with extensive technology-powered distribution capabilities. It will enhance Verizon’s growth strategy of providing a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers.

Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo – now valued at approximately $4.48 billion in cash, subject to closing adjustments – is expected to close in second-quarter 2017. GTB