Deal puts Verizon head to head with private equity firm TPG
US telecoms giant Verizon is said to be planning to offer about $3bn for Yahoo's core internet business in a second round of bidding, a move that would put it up against private equity firm TPG.
Quoting "people familiar with the matter", the Wall Street Journal said that both Verizon and TPG had offered bids on Monday. Other bidders interested in purchasing parts of Yahoo's business are private equity firms Advent International and Vista Equity Partners, and a group led by Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, although these players are understood to be pursuing different assets. In March Yahoo announced that it was exploring the sale of non-core assets, including real estate and patents, which it valued at $1bn to $3bn.
It is understood that Verizon is interested in Yahoo's core internet business rather than these peripheral assets.
Verizon has expanded its telecoms and cable business into the provision of online ads in recent years. In May 2015 it acquired AOL for $4.4bn, and with it that company's mobile video and online advertising technology which it is integrating into its smartphone and internet advertising offerings and its cable TV business. The telecoms giant is presumably interested in serving ads to Yahoo's one billion monthly visitors across its various web properties.
This report is the latest in a string of acquisition rumours around Yahoo, which in total is valued at £35bn, the vast majority of which is down to its holdings in Chinese internet firm Alibaba and Yahoo Japan.
In March it was reported that Microsoft had been in preliminary talks with private equity companies interested in acquiring Yahoo's core businesses, and in April Daily Mail publisher DMGT also confirmed it was in discussion with financiers to snap up the ailing internet giant, although in both case negotiations were said to be in the early stages. This week it was reported that Twitter has also been in talks with Yahoo.
In April, Yahoo's core internet assets were valued at between $4bn and $8bn, meaning the reported Verizon bid has come in lower than these expectations.