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AT&T may sell stake in Yellow Pages
09 March 2012
Operator discusses sale of majority stake in classified directory unit with buyout firm Cerberus
AT&T is believed to be in discussions with buyout firm Cerberus Capital Management for the sale of a majority stake in its Yellow Pages classified phone book division.
Citigroup and Bank of America are advising AT&T on the deal, which will see it retaining a minority stake in the division, valued at around $1.5 billion, reported Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources.
The US operator is said to have held talks on the unit with various buyout firms, including Texas-based TPG Capital, which seems to have lost interest now.
Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T said at an investor meeting on March 1 that directory businesses “are in a fairly steady decline. We’re obviously going to have to look at areas — look at options in terms of what we do with those assets.”
Many other operators have sold their classified directory businesses in the face of competition from Google and others. BT was among the first, selling its business, Yell, to private equity investors in 2001 for £2.1 billion. Now the company is worth under £100 million and it is heavily in debt. GTB
Further reading from Global Telecoms Business:
US 'has enough spectrum' says AT&T chief 27 Feb 2012
Interview: Randall Stephenson of AT&T 08 Dec 2010
KPN raises €500 million in directory sale 15 Nov 2002
Waiting for privatisation 01 Aug 2002