Time Warner Chief Says AOL Suitors Not in Short Supply

Associated Press
Friday, May 4, 2007

Time Warner chief executive Richard D. Parsons said several private-equity firms have approached him about buying AOL.

He did not identify the firms in a CNBC interview yesterday.

"I can't even go to the local hardware store . . . that some private-equity guy doesn't jump out from behind the bin with some proposal. But we like the construction of this company," he said of AOL.

However, when asked whether he would rule out selling AOL, he said, "I would never categorically rule out anything."

"Ultimately," he said, "our obligation is to manage this portfolio of assets for the benefit of our shareholders."

In September, AOL began offering its services free, shifting from a subscription model to one supported by advertising to compete with Yahoo.

Time Warner has been pruning its portfolio, retaining parts of its magazine business that have an extended life online.

"I like the magazine business, I like the publishing business. We're there to stay," Parsons said.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company