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The sale of the domestic business of Verizon Information Services, which has 7,300 employees, could be complete next year
Bloomberg Article [quote.bloomberg.com]
I assume this would include their online directories (superpages.com) as well. It will be interesting to see who the players are in this. The business unit combines and old-school zero growth (or shrinking) cash cow in the form of the print directories and a (potentially) high-growth internet group in the form of superpages.com.
It would also include the directories sales force - the highly coveted 'feet on the street'. Imagine this sales force hawking Google or Yahoo! local PPC in addition to what they sell today. I think the players in this deal are going to tell us a lot about the strategies Google and Yahoo have for eventually reaching the local advertising market.
I assume this would include their online directories (superpages.com) as well.
It will be interesting to see who the players are in this.
I would look to the other major directory publishers before the SE's. There are more synergies given that the large majority of the revenue associated with the deal still stems from the print side as well as the operational efficiencies leveraged by having similar organizations.
This is a lot of money and its an old school unionized (i think) sales force. I don't see that being an easy mesh with a company like G. If I were to put on my prediction hat, I would suggest that if an SE were to make a large move into the sales force space they would not spend 10X over earning to the tune of 17 billion to do it. There are cheaper ways. But who knows...
Imagine this sales force hawking Google or Yahoo! local PPC
Imagine what they could do with $17 billion if they weren't bound by a uber-noncompete agreement. For instance, they could likely acquire or develop some useful search technology...
Look at A9 from Amazon - they are sure not short of money but instead of developing their own tech, they chosen to license Google's data/code. Strange world, is not it?
I still think it will be interesting to see how much G/Y/MSN kick the tires on this one...if at all.
In terms of the potential buyers, this article [news.yahoo.com] hints as some interesting items.
But lately the industry has been prime territory for buyout firms -- Apax Partners and the Carlyle Group among them -- that are attracted to its traditionally strong cash flows, which can help pay down debt used to finance the deals.
In another directories deal, R.H. Donnelley Corp. agreed in October to buy Dex Media Inc., whose majority shareholders are Carlyle and fellow buyout firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe.