Google Wants Time Warner to Buy Back AOL Stake

06 February 2009

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California: Online search titan Google is hoping to offload its 5% share in struggling AOL onto the web portal's  original owner Time Warner, to which it paid $1 billion (€777m; £688m) for the stake in 2005.

When Google bought its share in AOL, the company was valued at $20bn, though this figure has been reduced to $5.5bn following a recent write-down.

In a conference call, Time Warner cfo John Martin said Google now wants to invoke its "demand registration statement" on its share in AOL.

As such, Martin added. any amount Time Warner pays for Google's stake in AOL would "be well below the value that was placed on it at the time of the original investment."

Reads Google's statement: "After careful consideration, we made the decision that we needed to exercise our rights now so we could be in a position to sell our interest when the timing made sense for us.

"AOL remains an extremely valued partner, and we'll continue to work closely together to provide their users with the best search experience possible."

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff