Verizon Media’s Irish sales down almost €100m as Apollo prepares to take control

Mean average pay at Dublin operation of Yahoo and AOL tops €108,000

In May this year, Verizon agreed to sell its European media assets for $5 billion to private equity group Apollo Global Management

In May this year, Verizon agreed to sell its European media assets for $5 billion to private equity group Apollo Global Management

 

Sales at the Dublin-based European media division of US telecoms giant Verizon fell by almost €100 million last year to just under €610 million.

The Dublin unit, Verizon Media EMEA, includes the remnants of Yahoo and AOL that were acquired a few years ago by Verizon, which intended to revive the brands to compete for ad sales with Google and Facebook. The Irish company employs software engineers and advertising sales staff.

In May, Verizon agreed to sell its European media assets for $5 billion to private equity group Apollo Global Management. Accounts filed this week by the Dublin unit show that its ultimate control is being shifted from the Netherlands to an Apollo company in Delaware in the US, with that transaction expected to close later this year.

According to the accounts, the Dublin unit went from a €70 million profit in 2019 to a loss of €17.5 million last year, most of which it blamed on currency movements as sterling and the dollar weakened against the euro. The directors described the Irish unit’s financial performance as “reasonable”.

Premises

The Dublin unit rents two premises in Dublin, including its headquarters at Point Square in North Wall Quay and a data centre at a business park in Ballycoolin, north Dublin. The lease on the data centre is due to run out in November. Verizon said that at the date of the accounts, it was “not certain” that it would renew any of its Irish leases on agreed terms. Its total Irish rent bill is €9.3 million, according to the accounts.

Staff numbers at the Irish unit increased by 30 last year to 346, including 155 software engineers. The rest were mostly ad sales staff and administration. The mean average salary of Verizon’s Dublin staff was €108,000, although this figure probably masks a large variation between the pay of administration staff and their higher-remunerated technical colleagues.

Verizon said that it had been told by the Data Protection Commissioner that a case against it for breaches of security around Yahoo emails is now closed. A separate DPC investigation over GDPR is ongoing.