Yahoo, once Web pioneer, to turn into investment company
Published: Jul 26, 2016 09:54 AM
Yahoo Inc., once a Silicon Valley legend and Web pioneer, will turn into an investment company with a different name at closing of its deal with Verizon Communications Inc.

A blog posting by Marissa Mayer, chief executive officer of the US tech company based in Sunnyvale, California, on Monday called it "a big day for Yahoo" as the news broke out that it had agreed to sell operating business to Verizon for 4.83 billion US dollars in cash.

"Today's announcement not only brings us an important step toward separating Yahoo's operating business from our Asian asset equity stakes, it also presents exciting opportunities to accelerate Yahoo's transformation," Mayer said, noting that the deal "culminates a rigorous, thorough process over many months, and yields a great outcome for the company."

However, the clue for the future of Yahoo, founded in 1995 by Jerry Yang and David Filo, two computer graduate students at Stanford University on the US west coast, was in a news release from Verizon, headquartered in New York City on the east coast.

"The sale does not include Yahoo's cash, its shares in Alibaba Group Holdings, its shares in Yahoo Japan, Yahoo's convertible notes, certain minority investments, and Yahoo's non-core patents," said the release. "These assets will continue to be held by Yahoo, which will change its name at closing and become a registered, publicly traded investment company."

Yahoo's 15 percent stake in Alibaba Group Holdings, a Chinese e-commerce company listed at the New York Stock Exchange, was estimated to worth 31 billion dollars at the end of last year, and its stake in Yahoo Japan was about 8.5 billion dollars.

What's left for Verizon Inc., which includes Verizon Wireless, arguably the No. 1 US wireless operator, to grab are Yahoo's search, email and messenger assets and advertising technology tools, which made Yahoo a major player in the early days of the internet.

Claiming now to have a global audience of more than 1 billion monthly active users, including 225 million monthly active email users and 600 million monthly active mobile users, Yahoo has been struggling for years to turn around in face of more recent competition from other Silicon Valley companies, mainly Google in search and email services and Facebook in mobile and social media businesses.

Mayer, who took over in 2012, said Monday she planned to stay at Yahoo through the deal's close, which is expected to happen in the 1st quarter of 2017.