MASTERCLASSING

Yahoo and AOL are sold for $5bn

Gabby Fernie

Yahoo and AOL, two of the internet's oldest and well-known brands, have been sold again after the latest owner failed to revive their fortunes, according to the BBC.

Verizon announced it is selling off the properties, which it acquired in separate transactions in 2015 and 2017 for a combined $9bn (£6.48bn), to the private equity firm Apollo Global Management in a deal valued at $5bn (£3.6bn).

The new company formed by AOL and Yahoo will be known solely as Yahoo and Verify will keep a 10 per cent stake in the new division. 

Yahoo and AOL were once pioneers in offering a wide range of free and informative web services to consumers, including free web mail and chat messenger. At their peaks, AOL had a market capitalisation of more than $200bn (£144.03bn) and Yahoo more than $125bn (£90.02bn). 

However, they were subsequently overshadowed by firms such as Google and Facebook. 

Apollo remains optimistic about the potential of its latest acquisitions. Reed Rayman, Private Equity Partner at Apollo told the BBC: "We are thrilled to help unlock the tremendous potential of Yahoo and its unparalleled collection of brands. We have enormous respect and admiration for the great work and progress that the entire organisation has made over the last several years."

Despite being obscured by other platforms, Yahoo's homepage still commands a large audience - it is the 11th most visited website in the world, with 3.8bn visits over the last six months, according to web analytics platform SimilarWeb.

The sale by Verizon comes after it disposed of blogging platform Tumblr in 2019 and the Huffington Post in 2020. 

The deal between Apollo and Verizon is expected to close in the second half of this year.