Yahoo and AOL, formerly known as Verizon Media, have officially acquired by their new owners and renamed simply “Yahoo.” Verizon announced in May that it would sell the properties to Apollo Global Management in a deal reportedly worth $5 billion, about half of the nearly $9 billion the telecom giant originally paid for them, and a fraction of the cost. hundreds of billions that the two businesses were worth at their peak.
Verizon originally bought AOL in 2015 for $4.4 billion and acquired Yahoo in 2017 for $4.5 billion. After the acquisition of Yahoo, Verizon placed both brands under the woefully bland “Oath” brand. “#TakeTheOath” proclaimed AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. The media divisions, including properties like Yahoo Sports, TechCrunch, and Engadget, were officially rebranded as “Verizon Media” in 2019.
Yahoo is now headed by CEO Guru Gowrappan and will operate as a standalone company under Apollo Funds. Apollo is a private equity firm that owns assets such as artisan retailer Michaels, Chuck E. Cheese restaurants and the Venetian resort in Las Vegas. “The closing of the deal heralds an exciting time of renewed opportunity for us as a standalone entity,” said Gowrappan. “We expect the coming months and years to bring new growth and innovation for Yahoo as a company and brand, and we look forward to building that future with our new partners.”
The acquisition marks the end of Verizon’s short-lived frenzy with media production and advertising. In 2019, the company sold Tumblr (previously owned by Yahoo), before being sold The Huffington Post (formerly part of AOL) last year. Despite the sale, Apollo says Yahoo still has nearly 900 million monthly active users.