Enhance Time Warner By Breaking It Up

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Investor Carl Icahn wants to see Time Warner split apart into four companies, and for it to buyback some $20 billion in stock from the market.

Icahn’s ongoing calls for the breakup of Time Warner reached another milestone. A website called Enhance Time Warner has been launched as a repository for Icahn’s arguments that the sum of Time Warner’s parts is far greater than its whole.

The site has recently placed a review of its proposal by investment bank Lazard, whose CEO, Bruce Wasserstein, supports Icahn’s call for Time Warner to become a quartet. Those four businesses would be AOL, Time Publishing, Time Warner Cable, and a film and network company.

Lazard’s study noted how the stock buyback and corporate spin-offs could benefit existing Time Warner shareholders:

Over time, these initiatives could generate approximately $40 billion in incremental value for TWX shareholders. This amount does not include the billions of dollars transferred or lost by Time Warner from missed opportunities.

CNN carried some of the more detailed criticism of Time Warner by Wasserstein, who spoke at a press conference about the breakup plan and some of Time Warner’s miscues:

“There is no compelling reason today for these businesses to remain together,” he said. “Almost every strategic decision regarding AOL has been wrong,” he added, noting the company’s failure to market a bundled broadband offering with cable until last year.

The banker also said that Time Warner’s sales of Comedy Central and Warner Music were mistakes that cost shareholders billions of dollars.

Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons said in a statement the proposal would be considered carefully pending a response. Parsons believes the company is healthy and growing despite its stock price, which traded at $18.36 as of press time.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Enhance Time Warner By Breaking It Up
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  • Jessica

    Thanks alot

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