Deals and IPOs

Verizon lead bidder for Yahoo; deal could be announced early next week: Sources

Verizon is lead bidder for Yahoo: Sources
Verizon is lead bidder for Yahoo: Sources

Verizon is the lead bidder to buy Yahoo, and a sale could be announced as soon as early next week, sources told CNBC on Friday.

Verizon's bid to buy Yahoo's core business includes real estate, not the intellectual property portfolio, people familiar with the situation said.

Verizon, which acquired AOL last year, had widely been considered to be the front-runner to buy Yahoo's core internet business, although there are likely about five bidders. Still, sources told CNBC that the advisors overseeing the Yahoo sale are now dealing solely with Verizon, and are close to a potential deal in the negotiations.

CNBC could not immediately confirm the expected sale price, but Recode's Kara Swisher, citing sources, put the value at about $5 billion.

After the deal is announced, it could take six to nine months to finalize, sources told CNBC.

Yahoo's shares have risen nearly 17 percent this year, in part because investors were awaiting its new potential owner, according to Zacks' deputy manager Sejuti Banerjea. Yahoo also reported second-quarter sales that topped analysts' expectations, although earnings per share fell short.

The sale comes amid pressure from activist investors, who had watched Yahoo's stock struggle amid reports of ad fraud issues and middling paid clicks from search — while Yahoo's stake in China's Alibaba soared in relative value.

Disclosure: CNBC has a content-sharing partnership with Yahoo's finance site.

— Reporting by CNBC's David Faber