Verizon (VZ) is reportedly nearing a deal to acquire Yahoo! Inc (YHOO) , beating out rival bidders, reports Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter. For Yahoo’s core Internet business, the communication company is reportedly discussing a price close to $5 billion.
Which of Yahoo’s assets are part of the deal?
As of now, the deal does not include the company’s patents. Though Yahoo’s other assets like its real estate were also on the table, it is not known if it are a part of the deal, Bloomberg said. Citing a source who asked not be named because the deliberations are private, the media outlet says the deal could be announced in the coming days. The two companies are reported to be in one-on-one discussions, but the deal could still fall apart, the report said.
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Though there are other bidders too, Verizon has been considered the front-runner for Yahoo’s Internet business. The panel overseeing the Yahoo sale is solely in talks with Verizon and nearing a potential deal, reports CNBC, citing unnamed sources. It will reportedly take six to nine months more to conclude the deal after one is announced.
Other players active in the bidding process included names like buyout firms Vector Capital Management and TPG, Quicken Loans Inc. founder Dan Gilbert and AT&T. As of now, there have been no comments from Verizon and Yahoo over the report.
Verizon could end months-long bidding process
The deal, if it goes through, would end the months-long bidding process for Yahoo. It all started earlier this year when CEO Marissa Mayer revealed that the company would consider strategic options, including selling its core Internet business. Mayer finally gave in to the rising shareholder anger that gained ground after the failure of the plans to spin off Yahoo’s stake in Alibaba in a way that would minimize the tax impact on investors.
The stake in the largest Chinese e-commerce provider came up as the most valuable part of Yahoo; thus, investors wanted a reasonable option to realize some of those gains. However, Yahoo was forced to abandon the plan after U.S. regulators denied a prior approval for the transaction’s tax status.
This year so far, Yahoo’s stock has gained almost 17% as investors await news about the new potential owner, said Sejuti Banerjea, Zacks’ deputy manager. For the second quarter, Yahoo’s sales topped analysts’ expectations, but earnings per share fell short of estimates.
At 10:24 a.m. Eastern, Verizon shares were up 1.19% at $56.04. Year to date, the stock is up almost 20%, while in the last year, it is up almost 21%.