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Time Warner may sell AOL shares

May 21, 2005 at 4:39 PM

NEW YORK, May 21 (UPI) -- The chief executive of New York-based Time Warner Inc. has said the company may consider spinning off America Online to help finance future acquisitions.

Chief executive Richard Parsons told investors Saturday that the possibility has been discussed with AOL management of selling shares of the internet giant in an initial public offering. However, he told the company's annual meeting that Time Warner decided not to go ahead with such a plan "at this point," the Washington Post reported.

"If it gets to the point where consolidation is happening in the Internet" industry, "the possibility of an IPO is out there," Parsons said after the meeting.

However, the executive said he is "encouraged" by AOL's prospects and that "AOL is an extremely important part of our company."

The Post said the possibility likely depends on whether AOL chief executive Jonathan Miller's plan to attract advertisers to the company's Web site succeeds in compensating for the decline in dial-up subscribers.

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