Verizon to Submit $3 Billion Yahoo Bid (Report)
"Yahoo has viewership," Verizon's CFO tells an investor conference, but adds "it doesn’t really matter to me" whether the company gets to move ahead with a deal as long as it keeps growing its mobile-first video audience.
Verizon was expected to submit a $3 billion bid for Yahoo's core internet business on Monday, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The offer, which WSJ reports was to be made ahead of the Monday deadline for the second round of bidding, comes as the ailing tech giant has received interest from a number of parties, including AT&T, private equity firm TPG, and a group led by Dan Gilbert. At least one more round of bidding is expected before Yahoo makes a decision.
Verizon has been considered a front-runner in the Yahoo sale, with executives expressing their interest in the business, which includes digital media assets including Yahoo News and Yahoo Sports.
Verizon CFO Fran Shammo spoke at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Telecom & Media conference in London on Tuesday in a session that was webcast and was asked about the report. “I’m not going to talk a lot about the Yahoo process or Yahoo itself,” he said. “But look, obviously we have gone on a strategic roadmap here around mobile-first activity.”
He highlighted how Verizon bought AOL for $4.4 billion for its advertising technology, emphasizing that “AOL has brought a lot of viewership to the platform.” He added: “You are going to see us over this next three to six months start to cross-pollinate our products, utilizing the Verizon Digital Media Services platform.”
Shammo mentioned that Verizon’s Go90 service will become more integrated with AOL “so that we can broaden the viewership,” adding: “Viewership matters, because viewership drives advertising dollars, which drives the top-line revenue. When you think about viewership, Yahoo has viewership. Okay, so that’s all I’m going to say about that.”
The company and the industry will see “whether we move forward or we don’t move forward,” the CFO concluded. “It doesn’t really matter to me whether we do or we don’t. We have to build upon what we have, and [that is] creating more views to our platforms to generate advertising dollars to monetize the data feeds…and the content that we have.”
Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman said in May that the sale process was going "very, very well" and that the Yahoo management team was "absolutely aligned" with the company's board and sale committee. Some observers had expected bids for the Marissa Mayer-led company to be as high as $8 billion, but the bids appear to have come in much lower.
A spokeswoman for Yahoo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.