AT&T sheds directories, advertising business

The telecommunications giant is selling the assets to Cerberus, but will get a 47 percent stake in the new venture.

AT&T is getting rid of its Yellow Pages business. CNET/Marguerite Reardon

AT&T is getting rid of its advertising and directories business for $750 million in cash, the company said today.

The Dallas-based telecommunications giant is offloading the assets to Cerberus Capital Management but will retain a 47 percent stake in the new YP Holdings venture created from the deal. It also gets a $200 million note from Cerberus, a private investment firm based in New York.

AT&T is following in the other telecoms' footsteps in ditching assets outside of its core focus of wireline and wireless services. Rival Verizon long ago sold its directories business because it showed little prospects for growth.

The assets that AT&T is selling include the Yellow Pages directories business, the YP.com Web site, the YPmobile app, the YP ad network, and parts of AT&T Advertising Solution and AT&T Interactive. The company in recent months formed AdWorks to sell ads to its different platforms. That unit isn't a part of the deal.

The business units generated roughly $3.3 billion in revenue last year. AT&T and Cerberus expect the deal to close by the middle of the year.

AT&T said YP will continue to honor existing union contracts after the transaction.

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About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

 

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