We heard rumblings about this on Friday, and now it's official: Verizon Communications on Monday morning announced plans to acquire Yahoo's "operating business" for approximately $4.83 billion in cash.
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As expected, the deal does not include what NPR calls Yahoo's "most valuable assets" — its share in the Chinese online retail giant Alibaba or Yahoo Japan. At closing, Yahoo will change its name and become a registered, publicly traded investment company, continuing to hold these assets.
The deal — which is subject to customary closing conditions as well as approval by Yahoo's shareholders and regulators — is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017. Until it officially goes through, Yahoo will continue to operate independently.
In a statement, Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said the acquisition "will put Verizon in a highly competitive position as a top global mobile media company, and help accelerate our revenue stream in digital advertising."
The move comes after Verizon bought AOL for $4.4 billion last May. Once it becomes part of Verizon, Yahoo will be "integrated with AOL" under the leadership of Marni Walden, Verizon's EVP and president of product innovation and new businesses.
"Yahoo and AOL popularized the Internet, email, search and real-time media," Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said in a statement. "It's poetic to be joining forces with AOL and Verizon as we enter our next chapter focused on achieving scale on mobile."
She added that the acquisition "sets up a great opportunity for Yahoo to build further distribution and accelerate our work in mobile, video, native advertising and social."
Mayer, a former Google exec who joined Yahoo as CEO in 2012, will remain at Yahoo, she said in an email to employees that was posted on the Yahoo-owned Tumblr. "For me personally, I'm planning to stay. I love Yahoo, and I believe in all of you. It's important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter," she wrote.
Yahoo went up for sale in April, and Verizon was rumored to be interested from the start.