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AOL stake fetches US$283m

TIME Warner Inc paid US$283 million for Google Inc's 5 percent stake in AOL, the Internet company said on Monday.

Time Warner, which plans to spin off AOL by the end of the year, bought the stake from Google on July 8, AOL said in a regulatory filing to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

The price paid implies that AOL has a total value of about US$5.7 billion.

The filing is a registration statement with the government that AOL must file before its long-expected separation from Time Warner, and brings the company one step closer to ending a troublesome eight-year-old merger.

Brigantine Advisors analyst Colin Gillis said the implied US$5.7 billion AOL valuation from purchasing Google's stake represents a "floor valuation" as AOL moves toward a spin-off. "It shouldn't be anything lower than that," said Gillis.

Current Time Warner shareholders are expected to be holders of the new AOL shares once the company is separated.

AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong said last week that the company would focus primarily on being a Web advertising business.


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