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Time Warner to spin off AOL

May 28, 2009 at 2:24 PM

NEW YORK, May 28 (UPI) -- U.S. telecommunications giant Time Warner Inc. said Thursday it would spin off AOL to provide the company with flexibility and improve its core businesses.

The anticipated separation "will be the best outcome for both Time Warner and AOL," Time Warner's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bewkes said in a statement.

AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong called the move "a great opportunity for AOL, our employees and our partners."

Time Warner owns 95 percent of AOL; Google owns 5 percent.

AOL, with 107 million unique Web visitors each month, has struggled, as advertising revenues declined last year.

Armstrong conceded, "we have a tremendous amount of work to do."

The proposed spin off would be structured as a tax-free transaction for Time Warner stockholders, Time Warner said.

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