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Business Insider

Yahoo to sell search tech and and other patents for up to US$1 billion

Yahoo's 3,000 include intellectual property dating back 20 years, say reports

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 June, 2016, 8:48pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 June, 2016, 11:56am

Yahoo plans to sell roughly 3,000 patents, including for its proprietary search technology, in a deal that could bring in an additional US$1 billion to the company, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Yahoo has hired investment bank Black Stone IP to handle the sell-off of its patent portfolio, which includes intellectual property that dates back to 1996. Yahoo confirmed that it was exploring the sale of 3,000 patents, and a source told the WSJ that Yahoo will take bids until mid-June.

The report comes a day after the second-round deadline for Yahoo's core internet business. The WSJ reported on Monday that Verizon has placed a US$3 billion bid for Yahoo's core business, which includes its search and email services.

The estimated value of Yahoo's core business varies depending on who you ask. Wall Street analysts believe that it's worth in the range of US$4 billion to US$8 billion, but that's if you include only Yahoo's real-estate and licensing deals. For example, Yahoo has a deal with Yahoo Japan that pays it US$100 million in pure cash every year forever.

SunTrust's research analyst Bob Peck wrote in a report on Tuesday that Yahoo's IP patents should be worth at least US$1.5 billion, while a recent report by the New York Post said that it could be worth US$4 billion in total.

There are a number of companies reported to be interested in buying Yahoo's core business, including Verizon, AT&T, and a number of private-equity firms.

Yahoo's representative wasn't immediately available for comment.

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