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Verizon‘s $9 billion bet on AOL and Verizon hasn’t led to riches for shareholders of the largest U.S. wireless company. But other buyers may still find value in some of the assets.
Verizon is weighing a sale of Verizon Media Group — previously called Oath, and before that, simply the merged AOL-Yahoo internet group — according to a person familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the potential sale, which the newspaper said could be valued at $4 billion to $5 billion.
Verizon Media Group is a hodgepodge of assets, with some more valuable than others. The group generated about $7 billion in revenue in 2020 and $1.9 billion in the first quarter of 2021, up 10.4% over a year earlier, when pandemic quarantines first led to advertising spending declines.
It’s possible a private equity buyer may acquire all of Verizon Media Group. If so, that firm is likely to harvest certain assets for cash. There may be a buyer — or buyers — for various businesses that have never fit Verizon under Chief Executive Hans Vestberg, who has focused the company on expanding 5G wireless service.
Here’s a rundown of some of the assets and their potential value to buyers.
Of all Yahoo’s consumer-facing legacy internet properties, Yahoo Finance is likely the most valuable, according to a person familiar with the matter. Several years ago, more than one financial firm approached Verizon to partner with Yahoo Finance and buy a stake in the asset. At the time, the deal would have valued Yahoo Finance — alone — at about $2 billion, said the person, who asked not to be named because the discussions were private.
That would be about half of the total value of all of Verizon Media, based on the Wall Street Journal’s reported valuation. Yahoo Finance had more than 325 million visits last month, according to SimilarWeb. The site and mobile app allow users to check stock prices and other financial information on companies for free. Like Yahoo’s other popular sites, such as Yahoo News, it makes money off advertising. Yahoo also offers