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Verizon selling Tumblr
Posted on Tuesday, 13 August 2019 12:44
Verizon Media has unveiled the signing of an agreement to sell social networking and microblogging site operator Tumblr to Automattic.

The buyer, which is the parent company of content management player WordPress.com, will pay an undisclosed sum for the business.

Completion remains subject to customary closing conditions.

Verizon Media chief executive Guru Gowrappan said Automattic’s ownership of Tumblr will unlock new possibilities for the target.

No further details have been disclosed at this time.

Tumblr was established in 2007 and is used to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog.

At present, it hosts some 475.20 million blogs in 18 languages and has its headquarters in New York.

Verizon bought the business as part of its USD 4.48 billion acquisition of Yahoo back in June 2017.

A sale of Tumblr was first reported back in May 2019, when people with knowledge of the matter told the Wall Street Journal that Verizon was seeking a buyer for the company.

According to those sources, the parent believes a divestment could help it to meet revenue targets within its media division, something which it is struggling to accomplish at present.

Forbes picked up on the news and speculated that one potential buyer was PornHub; Tumblr had previously banned pornographic content on its site in a move which the US business magazine has described as unpopular.

PornHub actually responded to the theorising, with vice-president Corey Price quoted by Forbes as admitting the company was interested in a purchase with a view to lifting the ban.

However, news of the agreement with Automattic means it has been beaten to the punch.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows the largest deal targeting a data processing, hosting and related services company to have been announced worldwide since the beginning of 2019 is worth USD 11.09 billion.

That transaction took the form of a minority stake sale as West Raptor Holdings divested its 2.8 per cent holding in Alibaba Group Holding to undisclosed buyers back in June.

© Zephus Ltd