The company that acted coy about buying Yahoo has reportedly now become the fifth suitor to bid on it. Verizon Communications has put in a bid to buy the troubled internet giant, according to a Bloomberg report. Google is also reportedly mulling a bid, making it the third publicly traded company along with Time Inc. to enter a bid for the firm; private equity firms TPG and Bain Capital are also kicking the tires, considering either buying Yahoo alone or by backing a third party’s bid, Bloomberg’s report said.
Verizon, which has retained the services of three investment banks, reportedly values Yahoo at $8 billion, below the $10 billion the company has been seeking.
Acquiring Yahoo, a Frankenstein’s monster of internet services including search, social media, advertising, email and content, could serve Verizon as it looks to build out both its digital video and web advertising services. The communications company bought AOL, another Internet 1.0 giant that had invested substantially to become a web video powerhouse, for $4.4 billion last June.
According to a report in Re/code, Yahoo’s sale book shows the picture of a company facing serious cash flow and earnings problems: Its earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, are projected to slip to just $750 million this year, a drop by nearly half from the $1.4 billion in EBITDA the company earned in 2014. The company laid off more than 1,500 people earlier this year, about 15 percent of its staff.
Bloomberg's report notes that Microsoft, a company with a keen interest in the future of Yahoo's search business, will not bid on Yahoo, and will not invest substantially in Verizon's bid. The two companies had reportedly held talks about Microsoft backing Verizon's Yahoo play.
Yahoo will be accepting bids on its core business until Monday.