AT&T sells big portion of its directory business to Cerberus Capital

AT&T (NYSE: T) has made an official deal to sell a large piece of its Yellow Pages directory unit to Cerberus Capital Management for around $950 million as part of a broader effort to divest non-core assets.  

Under the terms of the agreement, AT&T will get $750 million in cash and a $200 million note and maintain a 47 percent stake in the Yellow Pages business.

This is a lower price than the initial $1.5 billion an earlier report that industry insiders thought they would get when news of a possible sale emerged last month.

While the Yellow Pages was once a powerful directory tool when the dominant telecom service was voice, most consumers are now turning to online resources to get business information from the likes of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Groupon and Yelp to get their information.

In 2011, AT&T's Yellow Pages sales declined 16 percent, while the telco's total revenue rose 2 percent. Randall Stephenson, AT&T's CEO, said earlier this year that it plans "to either divest or restructure low-performing and non-strategic assets."

AT&T, of course, is not alone in its desire to reduce its directory holdings. Fellow telcos Verizon  (NYSE: VZ) and FairPoint (Nasdaq: FRP) have asked a number of state regulators in the markets they serve to allow them to stop printing their white pages directories.  

For more:
- Bloomberg has this article

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