The American internet company had been due to sell its core business to Verizon during the first three months of the 2017. However, in a twist to the already troubled deal, Yahoo disclosed this evening that the disposal is now not expected to complete until the second quarter, the Telegraph reports.
It came as reports from the US indicated Yahoo is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over whether it should have announced the huge data breaches to investors sooner.
In September, however, Yahoo revealed that the personal information of more than 500m of its users had been stolen in 2014. The internet company then stunned investors in December by disclosing that it had also suffered another breach in 2013 that had affected over 1bn of its accounts.
The hacking revelations have led to mounting speculation that the sale to Verizon will be renegotiated.
Yahoo added yet more fuel to those rumours today by announcing alongside its fourth quarter results that the deal had been delayed, although it sought to reassure shareholders it was “working expeditiously to close the transaction as soon as practicable”.
Revenues for the three months to the end of December climbed to a better-than-expected $1.47bn from $1.27bn in the same period a year earlier.
Yahoo also posted adjusted earnings-per-share of 25 cents, surpassing the 21 cents that analysts had predicted.
As well as the SEC, the Federal Trade Commission and the US attorney’s office in Manhattan are looking into hacks at the company, which is led by boss Marissa Mayer.
The Verizon sale will see Yahoo’s website, email and media operations move to the telecoms group. What remains is a holding company, due to be renamed Altbaba, that owns valuable stakes in Chinese internet retailer Alibaba and Yahoo Japan.
Ms Mayer will leave Altbaba and continue to run the Yahoo internet business if the deal is completed.