Apollo Global Management buys Verizon Media and renames it Yahoo

Yahoo has changed hands yet again in an increasingly confusing game of corporate pass the parcel, with private equity firm Apollo Global Management the latest proud owners.

The deal values the once totemic internet brand at $5bn, with previous owner Verizon retaining a 10% stake in the business.

Yahoo has flitted between multiple owners since falling from grace as a darling of the early internet era. Its core internet business was snapped up by Verizon Communications for $4.5bn in 2017, precipitating the departure of then chief executive officer Marissa Meyer.

Yahoo, AOL and HuffPost were subsequently folded within a new company Oath, which was later rebranded as Verizon Media – the subject of today’s Apollo takeover.

Yahoo chief executive (and formerly Verizon Media chief exec) Guru Gowrappan said: “This is a new era for Yahoo. The close of the deal heralds an exciting time of renewed opportunity for us as a standalone entity. 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.”

Apollo partner Reed Rayman added: “We look forward to partnering with Yahoo’s talented employee base to build on the company’s strong momentum and position the new Yahoo for long-term success as a standalone consumer internet and digital media leader.”

Despite losing its luster, Yahoo retains a formidable online presence – counting brands such as TechCrunch, AOL and Engadget among its properties – and a monthly active user tally of around 900 million.

The deal caps a sad end to Verizon’s once-grand vision to establish itself as an online media player, which will now fall back on its core telecommunications offering.