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AOL's $600M Stock Buyback, Special Dividend.

Internet company AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) announced plans Monday to return $1.1 billion to shareholders through a special dividend of $5.15 per share and also to buy back $600 million of stock under an accelerated stock-repurchase agreement with Barclays Bank PLC.

The one-time dividend will be payable on Dec. 14 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Dec. 5, the New York-based company said.

Earlier this month, AOL announced plans to repurchase an additional $550 million in stock after its Dutch auction tender offer ( was met with trepidation . The buyback was part of an effort to return proceeds of its $1.1 billion patent sale to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) to shareholders and thus limit tax liabilities from the patent sale.

August saw AOL rise to its highest value since the company was spun off from Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX), thanks to a jump in advertising revenue and a substantial one-time gain from ( its patent sale in April . Since then, the company has managed to return to a profitable second-quarter.

Management beat a proxy fight mounted by Starboard Value Management in early May in part by promising the special dividend.

AOL's statement said it plans to use its previously approved share-repurchase authorization and an incremental $10 million authorized on Aug. 26 for the Barclays deal. As of July 27, the company still had 94 million shares outstanding.

Shares rose 63 cents to $33.55 in midday trading.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Aug 27, 2012
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