AOL Time Warner’s chief executive designate Richard Parsons is today (Monday) expected to unveil conservative forecasts for the group’s performance in 2002, in stark contrast to the ambitious targets set for 2001 and eventually abandoned after September 11 [WAMN: 25-Sep-01].

Parsons – eager to restore investors’ faith in the media titan – is said to have made “under-promising and over-delivering” his guiding philosophy.

The group is also expected to confirm it will buy the 49.5% stake in AOL Europe currently held by Bertelsmann for $6.75 billion. The price, fixed in a deal forged at the height of dotcom fever, represents a considerable mark-up on the European division’s current market value, estimated at only $2bn.

News sources: Financial Times; The Times (London)