Yahoo and AOL, formerly known as Verizon Media, have officially been acquired by their new owners and renamed as simply “Yahoo.” Verizon announced it was selling the properties to Apollo Global Management in May in a deal said to be worth $5 billion, around half of the nearly $9 billion the telecom giant originally paid for them, and a fraction of the hundreds of billions the two companies were worth at their peaks.
Verizon originally purchased AOL in 2015 for $4.4 billion, and acquired Yahoo in 2017 for $4.5 billion. After completing its Yahoo acquisition, Verizon placed both brands under the woefully bland “Oath” brand. “#TakeTheOath” proclaimed AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. The media divisions, which include properties like Yahoo Sports, TechCrunch, and Engadget, were officially renamed “Verizon Media” in 2019.
Yahoo will now be run by CEO Guru Gowrappan, and will operate as a standalone company under Apollo Funds. Apollo is a private equity firm that owns assets like crafts retailer Michaels, Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, and the Venetian resort in Las Vegas. “The close of the deal heralds an exciting time of renewed opportunity for us as a standalone entity,” Gowrappan said. “We anticipate that the coming months and years will bring fresh growth and innovation for Yahoo as a business and a brand, and we look forward to creating that future with our new partners.”
The acquisition marks the end of Verizon’s short-lived dalliance with media production and advertising. In 2019 the company sold Tumblr (which had previously been owned by Yahoo), before selling The Huffington Post (formerly part of AOL) last year. Despite the selloffs, Apollo says Yahoo still boasts nearly 900 million monthly active users.