The sale of Yahoo's core business to Verizon will be pushed back to the second quarter following a series of revelations about security breaches, Yahoo has said.
Verizon finalised a deal to buy Yahoo's core business for $4.8bn last July. However, two huge data breaches which were not disclosed at the time could affect the terms of the deal.
The first dat abreach was disclosed in in August, just after the sale had been agreed. Yahoo announced it was investigating a reported breach of 200 million user email accounts in 2014, a number which later climbed to 500 million users.
In October, Verizon publicly warned Yahoo that it might reduce the price it was willing to pay, or even withdraw from the deal entirely as a result.
Reports of an even larger breach emerged in December, with up to one billion stolen user records being sold by criminals online, the result of a separate breach in 2013.
Yesterday it was reported that the Yahoo the US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) is weighing up an investigation into the two breaches and Yahoo's delay in reporting them.
Yahoo has now said that the deal will be delayed to the second quarter.
"Yahoo has continued to work with Verizon on integration planning for the sale of its core business," the company said in a release. "In terms of timing, Yahoo had previously stated that it expected to close the transaction in Q1. However, given work required to meet closing conditions, the transaction is now expected to close in Q2 of 2017. The company is working expeditiously to close the transaction as soon as practicable in Q2."
Verizon has yet to comment in public.
Verizon had agreed to to buy the core Yahoo Web portal business for $4.83bn with employee stock costs estimated at at $1.1bn, bringing the total cost closer to $6bn. The deal excludes Yahoo's 15 per cent stake in Alibaba Group and its 35 per cent stake in Yahoo Japan.
Once the core business has ben sold Yahoo will change its name to Altaba. CEO Marissa Mayer, one of the highest paid CEOs in the S&P 500 index of the biggest companies in the US, will leave the company, walking away with an estimated $55m as a pay-off.
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