Verizon sells Yahoo Japan licence to Z Holdings for $1.6 billion

Verizon sells Yahoo Japan licence for $1.6 billion

05 JUL 2021

Verizon Media agreed a sale of its Yahoo Japan licence to Z Holdings, a unit of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group, a move expected to net the US company around $1.6 billion as it cashes in media assets to fund its core business.

Z Holdings owns Yahoo Japan and currently pays Verizon Media a licensing fee to use the brand. Purchasing the moniker outright will provide the Japanese company with greater flexibility around its operation of the subsidiary, the companies stated.

Verizon will gain roughly $1.6 billion, apparently in addition to the $5 billion it is set to get from the sale of Verizon Media to affiliates of Apollo Global Management. The transaction is set to close later this year.

Z Holdings and Verizon explained their resepctive units will maintain a “cooperative business and technology relationship”, which will include “ongoing technical support during a post-transaction services period”.

SoftBank bought a controlling interest in Yahoo Japan in 2018, two years after Verizon agreed to buy the search engine and web portal.

Verizon subsequently combined Yahoo with AOL to form a media unit called Oath. Now the entire media business is known as Verizon Media.

For SoftBank, the move to take full control of Yahoo! follows a string of asset sales.

Like Verizon, SoftBank has been working to reduce its debt, but recently indicated a readiness to invest in new ventures including plans to launch a satellite-connectivity service with partners OneWeb and Skylo Technologies.

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Martha DeGrasse

Freelance tech journalist Martha DeGrasse (@mardegrasse) is delighted to be contributing to Mobile World Live. Martha has written for a number of telecom and wireless publications, and was a writer, editor and video producer at RCR Wireless News for almost...

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