Sometimes a deal looks so screwy, you've got to wonder what they're thinking -- such as a private-equity group buying a majority stake in AT&T's Yellow Pages division.
This is the age of Google and Yelp and Groupon. Who ponies up serious cash for a buggy-whip business like phonebooks?
Well, it turns out Cerberus Capital Management isn't as goofy as it might appear. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, about 422 million directories are still published annually, and businesses pay almost $7 billion to advertise in them.
AT&T’s Yellow Pages operation alone publishes 1,200 directories in 22 states. The Cerberus deal values the business at about $1.4 billion.