Verizon and Google lead prospective Yahoo buyer pack, as AT&T backs down
Another tech colossus is reportedly for sale, and just like last year, when AOL sought new management and financial support, Verizon seems the odds-on favorite to take Yahoo over. Only this time, the largest wireless service provider stateside has competition.
Strong, reputable and vast competition, including the likes of Google, Time Inc., and private equity funds Bain and TPG. Not carrier arch-rival AT&T, though, as Ma Bell has different fish to fry, considering a Yahoo bid, but ultimately deciding against joining next week’s first-round auction.
Despite persistent monetary woes, multiple CEO changes and failed attempts at streamlining the Sunnyvale-based company’s many business ventures, the Yahoo name is still worth around $8 billion, according to VZW estimates.
That’s almost twice as much as what AOL went for, and it could more than double the value of an upcoming acquisition said to also involve the giant’s minority 35.5 percent stake in a separate Yahoo Japan outfit.
Verizon or Google’s prospective intentions here remain unclear, though the former would probably look to unite AOL and Yahoo, and hand over the reins to Tim Armstrong and Marni Walden, with Marissa Mayer out of the picture.
Projected to once again see its yearly revenue sink in 2016, from $4.1 to $3.5 billion (back in 2014, the magic number was $4.4B), Yahoo continues to operate a bunch of successful software products, including an uber-popular email client, microblogging platform Tumblr, and its own search engine.
From this standpoint, the company would likely be a better fit under the Alphabet umbrella, allowing Google to further strengthen its core area of expertise. Meanwhile, if Verizon ends up outbidding the Mountain View search giant, there’s no telling what parts of the existing portfolio will be nixed, spun off and resold.