AT&T (NYSE: T) is in the process of signing a deal to sell off a large stake of its Yellow Pages subsidiary to Cerberus Capital Management in a deal that could worth up to $1.5 billion, reports Bloomberg.
Two people close to the negotiations said that under the terms of the agreement in a deal that could happen this month, AT&T would retain a "substantial minority stake" in the unit.
The service provider has held talks with a number of potential suitors, including TPG Capital, whose interest in the unit waned in recent days.
Selling a stake in the unit should not come all that much of a surprise as sales of the telco's directory business, including the Yellow Pages, declined 16 percent in 2011 to $3.29 billion. Previously, the telco asked the Missouri Public Service Commission and other states to waive requirements to distribute telephone directories to its consumers.
AT&T's move reflects the industry-wide desire to reduce its stake in the traditional print directory business. Independent telco SureWest (Nasdaq: SURW), for example, sold off its directory business in 2008, while Verizon Communications' (NYSE: VZ) directories spin-off Idearc filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009 because it could not offset print losses with online sales.
- Bloomberg has this article
Special report: Wireline in the fourth quarter 2011
AT&T Q4 2011 wireline growth driven by ongoing video, broadband gains
VSG: AT&T, Level 3 raise global Ethernet profile, while Orange holds first place
AT&T, CWA negotiating contract with wireless workers, continues wireline union talks
AT&T expands U-verse reach in Kansas City, lets Google share poles