AOL will continue to have a relationship with its hyperlocal news service Patch, but is relinquishing operation and majority control, as it has announced a new joint venture with Hale Global.
AOL says it will contribute Patch to a new limited liability company, of which Hale will own the majority, and will operate. AOL will retain a minority interest. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
AOL chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong said, “Patch is an important source of information for communities, and the joint venture we created has a unified mission to provide local platforms and hyper-local content. AOL has established leading positions in attractive scaled opportunities including video, brands, advertising and subscriptions by making bold bets and strategically investing in these high-growth opportunities -- and local will be a growth space during the next decade of the Internet.”
“Hale Global has a strong track record of operational excellence and platform experience, and we are looking forward to working closely with them on Patch,” he added.
“We are committed to bringing users, local businesses, writers and advertisers together into a Patch experience full of innovation and growth,” said Hale Global CEO Charles Hale. “Along with AOL, we are committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure Patch remains a vibrant part of the community.”
Patch was supposed to be a major part of AOL's business, but it never quite worked out that way. Last year, the company laid off hundreds of Patch workers.
AOL expects the deal to close early in the first quarter.
Image via Patch