Time Warner will spin off AOL

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Time Warner announced Thursday it will spin off AOL, eight years after the companies merged in a $147 billion deal.

AOL was headquartered in Dulles until last year when it moved its headquarters to New York. The company still has offices in Dulles.

“We believe that a separation will be the best outcome for both Time Warner and AOL,” said Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes. “The separation will be another critical step in the reshaping of Time Warner that we started at the beginning of last year, enabling us to focus to an even greater degree on our core content businesses. The separation will also provide both companies with greater operational and strategic flexibility. We believe AOL will then have a better opportunity to achieve its full potential as a leading independent Internet company.”

Time Warner plans to buy out Google’s 5 percent stake in AOL during the third quarter, and spin off the division into a separate,  publicly traded company toward the end of the year. AOL will be led by former Google executive Tim Armstrong.

AOL bought Time Warner for $147 billion in 2001, but the merger soon went poorly. The value of AOL diminished rapidly as broadband emerged.

The deal is subject to regulatory conditions and final approve by Time Warner’s board of directors.

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