The shareholders of Yahoo have given their approval to sell the main web properties of the company for $4.48 billion to Verizon Communications. This has in turn cleared the last remaining hurdle for the deal that was made public close to a year ago. The chief executive officer of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, consented to the sale in 2016 following the failure of turnaround efforts that had been initiated four years ago.
According to a Yahoo statement that was released on Thursday, the handing over of the web assets to Verizon Communications will take place on June 13. Though the transaction could have occurred earlier, the delay were caused by the discovery of security breaches which necessitated another round of negotiations. This also led to the price of the deal falling from $4.8 billion.
With the acquisition Verizon Communications will seek to capitalize on the massive web audience that Yahoo possesses with a view to pushing deeper into online content. The wireless carrier is seeking an expansion beyond its main business of connecting subscribers to their smartphones, cable channels and the internet. Yahoo’s web assets will be placed under a new unit at Verizon known as Oath. The unit will be responsible for digital services such as email and media content.
Oath will also incorporate assets and businesses that became part of Verizon after its acquisition of AOL in 2015 for approximately $4.4 billion. What remains of Yahoo after it some of its web assets are transferred to Verizon Communications will be rebranded Altaba. The new company will be worth over $40 billion and will have stakes in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba Group.
Besides the vote of approval, shareholders of Yahoo also consented to a compensation advisory note for senior executives with regards to the Verizon deal. The golden parachute of Marissa Mayer will be worth $3.02 million in severance pay as well as $25,081 in benefits. She also has 491,000 shares set to pay out.
Additionally, reports indicate that after the deal closes on June 13, Verizon Communications plans to lay off about 2,100 employees who work in its Oath unit. This is about 15% of the workforce. The cuts are expected to be publicly confirmed in the coming week.
“Oath’s strategy is to lead the global brand space … Consistent with what we have said since the deal was announced, we will be aligning our global organization to the strategy,” said a spokesperson for AOL.