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Verizon sells media assets to investment firm for $5 billion

The logo of Verizon Wireless. (Graphic: The Desk)

Telecom giant Verizon finally revealed the sale of its media assets on Monday, a deal that will see it net around $5 billion while still retaining a minority stake in the businesses.

The figure is about half of the $9 billion Verizon paid to acquire AOL and Yahoo!, two legacy brands that brought with them recognizable — and once popular — services like Flickr, the Huffington Post, Engadget, TechCrunch and Tumblr.

Flickr, the Huffington Post and Tumblr were not included in the deal because those properties had been sold off to other companies over the last few years.

Under the deal announced on Monday, Apollo Global Management will acquire a 90 percent stake in the remaining media businesses, including the two technology blogs, AOL and Yahoo!, while Verizon maintains a 10 percent stake.

The deal brings the digital content products under common ownership with Cox Media Group, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Claire’s and Smart & Final.

The arrangement was hardly a surprise: Last week, the Wall Street Journal first revealed discussions between Verizon and Apollo Global Management, with rival tech publication Bloomberg noting that an announcement could come as soon as this week.

Verizon’s focus now turns on building out its next-generation 5G wireless network. The company recently spent billions of dollars at a federal auction to acquire spectrum licenses needed for the network, and some of the money from the Apollo deal could help it offset a decent chunk of that spend.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).