AOL: Furious Icahn seeks to kill Google deal

by admin December 20, 2005 at 4:59 am

Warning over “disastrous” and “short-sighted” decision

Billionaire Time Warner shareholder Carl Icahn on Monday warned the media conglomerate’s board against making a “disastrous” and “short-sighted” decision.

If internet unit AOL agrees to an exclusive deal with search giant Google, its shareholders will hold the board responsible, Icahn warned.

Time Warner and Google have secretly reached a tentative agreement whereby Google would pay $1bn for a five per cent stake in AOL, giving AOL a valuation of $20bn, a source familiar with the negotiations who asked not to be named confirmed on Monday. Official word on the deal was expected to come on Tuesday, the source said.

The deal with Google, whose stock closed at $424.60, would nudge Microsoft out of the way. Microsoft had been wooing Time Warner to get AOL’s search business for many months and was on the verge of a deal before the surprise turn late last week, according to another person familiar with the negotiations who asked to remain anonymous.

Icahn, who directly and indirectly controls three per cent of Time Warner shares, has been organising a proxy battle for control of the company and wants to split AOL off.

Full story: