Verizon would explore a possible acquisition of Yahoo if a deal made sense, Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said.
Mr. Shammo, speaking at an investor conference in New York Monday, said that while it still wasn't clear what Yahoo's board has planned for the tech company, Verizon would take a look if it were to be offered up for sale. Yahoo directors met last week to discuss the viability of spinning off its stake in Alibaba Group and whether to seek a buyer for Yahoo's Web businesses.
"It's just like with AOL, I mean we look at everything across this spectrum," Mr. Shammo said at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. "And if we see there is a strategic fit and it makes sense for our shareholders and we can return value, I mean we'll look at it, but at this point it's way too premature to talk about that one."
Verizon acquired AOL for $4.4 billion earlier this year as part of a push into mobile video advertising. Yahoo owns online sports sites, financial and general news and advertising technology including BrightRoll, which Verizon might find attractive at the right price. Some of the impediments to a sale of Yahoo is the fate of its stake in Alibaba, a Chinese e- commerce giant, and the tax implications of a sale of that unit.
"All I can say is we don't know what Yahoo's board will decide. It's too early to know," Mr. Shammo said in an interview after his presentation.
A Yahoo spokeswoman couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
-- Bloomberg News