Taking another significant step in building digital and video platforms, Verizon Communications ahs signed an agreement to purchase AOL Inc. for $50 per share -- an estimated total value of approximately $4.4 billion. The acquisition further drives Verizon?s LTE wireless video and OTT (over-the-top video) strategy. The agreement will also support and connect to Verizon's IoT (Internet of Things) platforms, creating a growth platform from wireless to IoT for consumers and businesses.
AOL is a leader in the digital content and advertising platforms space. AOL's key assets include its subscription business; its portfolio of global content brands, including The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, MAKERS and AOL.com, as well as its millennial-focused OTT, original video content; and its programmatic advertising platforms.
Last month, Verizon said it was preparing to launch a video service over the summer targeting mobile devices and it is establishing partners to deliver that content. It also recently began offering tiered cable bundles.
Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and CEO, said: "Verizon's vision is to provide customers with a premium digital experience based on a global multiscreen network platform. This acquisition supports our strategy to provide a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers to deliver that premium customer experience."
He added, "AOL has once again become a digital trailblazer, and we are excited at the prospect of charting a new course together in the digitally connected world. At Verizon, we?ve been strategically investing in emerging technology, including Verizon Digital Media Services and OTT, that taps into the market shift to digital content and advertising. AOL?s advertising model aligns with this approach, and the advertising platform provides a key tool for us to develop future revenue streams."
Tim Armstrong, AOL chairman and CEO, will continue to lead AOL operations after closing.
The transaction will take the form of a tender offer followed by a merger, with AOL becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon upon completion.
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions and is expected to close this summer