AT&T Inc. has agreed to sell a majority stake in its Yellow Pages directory division to Cerberus Capital Management LP for about $950 million as part of an effort to dispose of units that are holding back revenue growth, Bloomberg reported.
AT&T will receive $750 million in cash and a $200 million note, according to a statement from the Dallas-based phone carrier today. AT&T will keep a 47 percent stake in the business, which had about $3.3 billion in revenue in 2011.
The sale lets AT&T, which hung on to its Yellow Pages division as competitors fled the business, reduce its exposure to a unit facing increasing competition from online rivals Google Inc., Groupon Inc. and Yelp Inc. To boost sales, AT&T, the biggest U.S. phone company, is focusing on its mobile-phone business, where it trails Verizon Wireless.
Sales at the Yellow Pages business declined 16 percent last year, compared with revenue growth of about 2 percent for AT&T as a whole. CEO Randall Stephenson said in January that the company was looking "to either divest or restructure low-performing and non-strategic assets," Bloomberg reported.