Mario Gabelli: Why Verizon should buy Yahoo

Gabelli on possible VZ/YHOO deal
Gabelli on possible VZ/YHOO deal

Value investor Mario Gabelli said Friday he would support a buyout of Yahoo's core internet media and search business by Verizon.

Shares of Yahoo whipsawed Thursday on news that Verizon would move forward with a bid for the tech giant. The stock traded down marginally on Friday.

Gabelli, who owns shares of Verizon and Yahoo, said the marriage makes sense following Verizon's $4.4 billion purchase of AOL last year. Verizon could likely do a deal to sell off Yahoo Japan, he said.

"This is pretty simple. It's basically Investment Banking 101," he told CNBC's "Fast Money: Halftime Report."

Yahoo has pushed back the deadline for bids for the business until April 18, Re/code reported. AT&T, Time Inc, and Google-parent Alphabet, as well as private equity firms TPG and Bain, are also reportedly interested in Yahoo's assets.

The telecommunications giant said the acquisition would further its strategy to build out its LTE wireless video and streaming video strategy, though market watchers speculated AOL's ad technology platform was at the heart of Verizon's bid.

In February, Verizon chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said Yahoo could fit under the AOL umbrella "at the right price." the company's interest to Jim Cramer of CNBC's "Mad Money" at the time.

Verizon values the core at less than $8 billion, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the company was advancing its bid.

Verizon and Yahoo declined to comment to CNBC.

Yahoo is in the midst of spinning off its core business as it looks to part with its stake in Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba.

Gabelli said he has "some issues" with Alibaba.

"It's really the corporate governance issue. It's not the fundamentals," he said. Alibaba CEO "Jack Ma has done an interesting job, and China is growing."

— CNBC's Anita Balakrishnan contributed to this story.