Verizon Clinches AOL Acquisition

Tim Armstrong to Remain Head of AOL Operations
verizon logo 450x345.jpg

Verizon Communications said it has closed its proposed $4.4 billion acquisition of AOL, a move that aims to beef up Verizon’s mobile, over-the-top video and advanced advertising strategies.

Verizon, which did receive some backlash from consolidation critics over the deal, said AOL CEO Tim Armstrong will continue to lead AOL operations “in an expanded role,” and report to Marni Walden, Verizon’s EVP and president of product innovation and new businesses. Bob Toohey, president of Verizon Digital Media Services, the company’s cloud video and advertising unit, will report to Armstrong.

In AOL, which will operate independently, Verizon will acquire a portfolio of content brands, including The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, MAKERS and, as well as a menu of OTT fare targeted to the coveted millennial audience. Via AOL, which acquired Adapt.TV in 2013, Verizon also gets some key programmatic advertising technologies that could play a part in its coming “mobile-first” offering that will include content from partners such as ACC Digital Network, Campus Insiders, CBS Sports, ESPN, 120 Sports and Awesomeness TV.

Verizon said it acquired 47.5 million shares for $50 each, representing 60.37% of AOL’s outstanding shares. Notices of Guaranteed Delivery were delivered with respect to about 2.7 million additional shares, representing 2.52% of AOL’s shares.

As a result of the tender, AOL shares will no longer be traded on the NYSE, and AOL is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon.

Verizon execs will discuss results of the transaction in more detail at a press conference scheduled for later today.