Verizon to buy AOL for $45 billion

By Michael BieseckerBloomberg Businessweek – December 20, 2018 09:45:23Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is buying AOL Inc. for $450 billion, the company announced on Tuesday.

Verizon, which is the largest U.S. wireless carrier, plans to offer AOL’s business-oriented AOL Instant Messenger platform as an add-on to its voice and video services.

The transaction will close in the fourth quarter of 2021, Verizon said.

The AOL deal is Verizon’s largest acquisition to date, surpassing Comcast Corp.’s acquisition of NBCUniversal last year.

AOL’s market cap is $52.5 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The company reported $11.6 billion in revenue last year, with revenue growing 5% to $24.5 bn, as AOL’s AOL Instant Messaging platform grew its reach.

AOL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Verseen’s Jeff Stein said the transaction is a significant acquisition.

“This is one of the largest acquisitions in Verizon’s history and this is going to be a huge boost to our customers and our brands,” he said in a statement.AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said in the same statement that AOL’s existing product and customer base make it a great fit for Verizon’s business model.

“With AOL Instant, Verizon is making a business-driven bet that AOL is the right place for the right business,” Armstrong said.

Verus AOL is set to launch AOL Instant in 2021.

The purchase price of AOL is $450 bn for a combination of stock and cash, plus debt, according the Wall Street Journal.