Verizon Would Explore Yahoo Deal If It Made Sense, CFO Says

  • Too early to know if Yahoo's board is going to sell: Shammo
  • Yahoo's ad tech, online businesses could be strategic fit

Yahoo's Fate: Could There Be a Deal With Verizon?

Verizon Communications Inc. would explore a possible acquisition of Yahoo! Inc. if a deal made sense, Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said.

Shammo, speaking at an investor conference in New York Monday, said that while it still wasn’t clear what Yahoo’s board has planned for the tech company, Verizon would take a look if it were to be offered up for sale. Yahoo directors met last week to discuss the viability of spinning off its stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and whether to seek a buyer for Yahoo’s Web businesses.

“If we see there is a strategic fit and it makes sense for our shareholders and we can return value, I mean we’ll look at it, but at this point it’s way too premature to talk about that one,” Shammo said at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. 

Verizon acquired AOL Inc. for $4.4 billion earlier this year as part of a push into mobile video advertising. Yahoo owns online sports sites, financial and general news and advertising technology including BrightRoll, which Verizon might find attractive at the right price. Impediments to a sale of Yahoo are the fate of its stake in Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant, and the tax implications of a sale of that unit.

“We look at everything across this spectrum,” Shammo said.

In a bid to find new growth businesses, Verizon this year started go90, a free mobile video service with content aimed at teens and millennials that uses AOL’s ad-insertion technology.

“All I can say is we don’t know what Yahoo’s board will decide. It’s too early to know,” Shammo said in an interview after his presentation.

Sarah Meron, a Yahoo spokeswoman, declined to comment.

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