Verizon set to purchase AOL in $4.4 billion deal

May 12, 2015, 7:32 AM EDT
A Verizon building in New York.
AFP/Getty Images

Verizon Communications Inc said it would buy AOL Inc in a deal valued at about $4.4 billion to gain access to AOL's digital advertising service and content, reports Reuters.

The offer of $50 per share represents a premium of 17.4 percent to AOL's Monday close of $42.59. Shares of AOL were trading at $50.05 before the bell.

The deal, which includes about $300 million of AOL debt, will take the form of a tender offer followed by a merger, with AOL becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon upon completion.

Verizon said it expects to fund the transaction from cash on hand and debt. Activist-investor Starboard Value LP had urged Yahoo Inc to consider a merger with AOL, whose businesses include the Huffington Post news website and the TechCrunch blog.