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Yahoo! She said yes. Verizon confirms $4.8bn acquisition

Marissa Meyer says she's proud of what she's done

Verizon has today confirmed it will splash out $4.83bn (£3.7bn) buying Yahoo, with the deal expected to close in the first financial quarter of next year.

The telco was one of 40 suitors rumoured earlier this year to be interested, including Google parent Alphabet, Time and even Daily Mail parent DMG.

Yahoo! has been on a downward trajectory for some time. In its last quarterly results the troubled biz tipped into the red, recording a net loss of $98m (£74m) on revenue, down 11 per cent to $1.09bn (£830m).

Marissa Meyer, CEO of Yahoo! said of the company, "I couldn’t be prouder of our achievements to date." She added: "I’m excited to extend our momentum through this transaction."

In an email to staff – published on Tumblr, natch – Meyer said she was planning to stay put: "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."

Yahoo! intends to return "substantially all of its net cash to shareholders".

Various activist investors have previously expressed their frustration at the company, claiming operating costs have ballooned by approximately $500m (£381m) despite declining revenues. In addition, the company has spent more than $2.3bn on recent acquisitions.

SpringOwl Asset Management has previously called for Meyer to step down, while hedge fund investor Starboard has demanded the replacement of the entire board at the loss-making company.

The deal does not involve Yahoo!'s Alibaba Group holdings, its shares in Yahoo! Japan, Yahoo!’s convertible notes, certain minority investments, or Yahoo!’s non-core patents.

Mayer said: “This transaction also sets up a great opportunity for Yahoo! to build further distribution and accelerate our work in mobile, video, native advertising and social.”

She added: “Yahoo! and AOL popularized the internet, email, search and real-time media. It’s poetic to be joining forces with AOL and Verizon as we enter our next chapter focused on achieving scale on mobile.

Verizon last year bought AOL for $4.4bn. Lowell McAdam, Verizon chief exec, said the AOL acquisition was intended to enhance its strategy of "providing a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers."

He said: "The acquisition of Yahoo! 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 Wall Street Journal previously reported that the telco had put $3bn (£2.2bn) on the table for Yahoo! last month. ®

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