Seven West Media’s long joint venture in Yahoo7 is over.
The media company today announced it had sold its 50% stake to Oath, the Verizon vehicle holding the assets of Yahoo.
Paul Sigaloff, Yahoo7’s chief revenue officer, becomes managing director of Oath ANZ.
Out the door will be Yahoo7 CEO Ed Harrison, CFO Penny Diamantakiou, CTO Paul Russell and product director Mark Robinson all depart the company.
The financials of the deal were not announced. Seven’s share of the latest half year net profit was $1.3 million. In its 2016 annual report, the Yahoo7 stake was valued at $201 million but writedowns last year reduced this to $46.38 million.
The joint venture was created in 2006, a major play between a global business, Yahoo, and a local Australia media company to create a big web news presence.
Yahoo7 websites include the Yahoo7 homepage, 7News, 7Sport, Yahoo Finance, as well as lifestyle and entertainment destination Be, and Yahoo7 Mail.
Tim Worner, the CEO of Seven West Media, says selling was a natural progression of a strategy to “control the distribution and monetisation of our digital products”.
“We leave [Yahoo7] in great shape, with an audience of around nine million, and a strong future ahead of it. We wish the team the greatest success in all that they do,” he says.
Seven been building its own platform, including digital streaming service 7Plus.
The free-to-air television network and media company is aiming to cut costs by $40 million this financial year and by $125 million over this year and next as it transforms to a leaner, more agile company.
For the six months to December, Seven West Media reported a profit after income tax of $100.7 million on revenue of $811.3 million.
Rose Tsou, Oath’s Head of Asia-Pacific, says simplifying the company’s structure in Australia is a big moment.
“We see a huge amount of opportunity for growth through our global house of brands and technology platforms,” she says.
The Oath portfolio in Australia includes HuffPost and ONE by AOL. Global Oath brands include Yahoo, AOL, MAKERS, Engadget, TechCrunch, Tumblr, Flurry and the Build Series.