Verizon completes $4.5bn acquisition of Yahoo

Verizon Communications Inc has completed its acquisition of the operating business of Yahoo! Inc, creating a diverse house of over 50 brands under new Oath subsidiary. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayor will also be replaced by Thomas McInerney who will lead Oath.

Verizon has combined these assets with its existing AOL business to create a new subsidiary, Oath, a diverse house of more than 50 media and technology brands that engages more than a billion people around the world.

The companies officially closed the $4.5 billion agreement on Tuesday, following Yahoo shareholder approval last week.

Yahoo properties including Sports and Finance will become part of a new Verizon unit called Oath, whose portfolio includes HuffPost, Yahoo Sports, AOL.com, MAKERS, Tumblr, BUILD Studios, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Mail and more.

Tim Armstrong, former CEO of AOL, is now CEO of Oath, which is part of Verizon's media and telematics organisation. He has been leading integration planning teams since the Yahoo transaction was announced in July 2016, and began operations as Oath on Tuesday.

''The close of this transaction represents a critical step in growing the global scale needed for our digital media company. The combined set of assets across Verizon and Oath, from VR to AI, 5G to IoT, from content partnerships to originals, will create exciting new ways to captivate audiences across the globe,'' Marni Walden, Verizon president of media and telematics, said.

''We're building the future of brands using powerful technology, trusted content and differentiated data. We have dominating consumer brands in news, sports, finance, tech, and entertainment and lifestyle coupled with our market leading advertising technology platforms. Now that the deal is closed, we are excited to set our focus on being the best company for consumer media, and the best partner to our advertising, content and publisher partners," Armstrong said.

A Verizon release said Armstrong will also be leading efforts to continue to build the industry's most advanced and open advertising technology solutions, with brands such as ONE by AOL and BrightRoll that span across mobile, video, search, native and programmatic ads.

Given the inherent changes to Marissa Mayer's role with Yahoo resulting from the closing of the transaction, Mayer has chosen to resign from Yahoo. Verizon wishes Mayer well in her future endeavors, the release said.

All of the websites owned by Yahoo are now officially part of Verizon. And CEO Marissa Mayer, who famously left Google to take over the Purple Portal, is walking away from the company with nearly $260 million.

According to recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mayer owned about 4.5 million shares of Yahoo, including options and restricted stock units.

Yahoo stock was trading at about $52.50 midday on Tuesday. So that makes Mayer's equity holdings worth a little more than $236 million at current prices.

What remains of Yahoo after the sale, includes an approximately 15 per cent equity stake in China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., about 36 per cent in Yahoo Japan Corp, cash and marketable debt securities, certain minority investments and Excalibur IP, which owns some patent assets.

That collection of Yahoo assets will be renamed Altaba Inc. Thomas McInerney, who will remain on the board, becomes Altaba's CEO.