Time Warner Pimping Out AOL Europe?

    June 12, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

AOL is the talk of Speculation Town across the Atlantic as buzz circulates that Time Warner is looking to unload its European arms to the highest bidder. British newspapers are reporting that Citigroup, acting on behalf of Time Warner, is in negotiations with possible suitors.

According to Web User, front-runners include BskyB and BT as potential buyers, offering between $1.2 billion and $1.8 billion. Another report has the Carphone Warehouse keeping a “close eye” on the proceedings.

AOL has called the banter that its European arms are up for sale “rumor and speculation,” but it is widely known across the Pond of Citgroup’s courtship of buyers and business partners for the company.

Though there has been little comment on acquisitions from any of the players, it is said that Time Warner will retain the “audience” division for online content and advertising.

A spokesman for AOL told Web User:

Any talks of sales is currently premature. This is part of Time Warner review of AOL Europe businesses and at the moment AOL is looking into full range of options.

The Register reports that options are not limited to acquisitions:

AOL Europe chairman Philip Rowley said: “Time Warner is now conducting a strategic review of AOL Europe, the business models and ownership structure that are in place in each country, and whether and how those models can be shaped, changed, and improved.

“It is envisaged that there will be conversations with potential partners about a number of ways we can work together, and we welcome that.”


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