Yahoo’s insecure deal
After years of unsuccessful turnaround attempts, Yahoo may have now bungled its $4.8 billion deal to sell its struggling online operations to Verizon Communications.
Analysts believe Verizon is reassessing the purchase price after Yahoo disclosed that computer hackers pulled off the internet’s biggest heist of personal information by breaking into Yahoo’s data centers two years ago. The stolen data included names, emails, passwords, phone numbers and birthdates from at least 500 million of Yahoo’s user accounts.
Verizon so far has only said it intends to act in its best interest.
The deal seems unlikely to completely unravel, even though news of the breach could drive away hordes of alienated Yahoo users. That’s because Verizon also prizes Yahoo’s digital ad technology, and the value of those tools shouldn’t be affected.
At $4.8 billion, the Verizon sale would yield about $5 per Yahoo share. Yahoo’s investments in two Asian Internet companies, Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan, are worth far more. Those stakes, which aren’t part of the Verizon deal, currently are worth a combined $30 billion, or $31.50 per share, after taxes.