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AOL’s Dial-Up and Portal Split Done; Cue Up the Candidates

Time Warner has completed the financial work necessary to split AOL’s business into two: one its fast-declining dial-up business, and the other one is a mix of its portal and advertising businesses. The process was started earlier this year, and was delayed by about a month, but will now be announced this Wednesday along with TW’s Q208 earnings, reports WSJ. The company has indicated it wants to sell off the dial-up part, and EarthLink indicated last week it wants to buy it. As for the portal-ad side of the business, with the Yahoo-Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) possibilities diminished, AOL (NYSE: TWX) is a target for both the companies.

Talks for either of the divisions have been held back by uncertainty about how revenues and liabilities would be split between the two sides, which complicated putting a value on the businesses, the story says. AOL-Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) talks have valued AOL’s portal-ad business at around $10 billion, while Time Warner’s current stock price — around $14 — suggests a value of no more than $3 billion to $4 billion for the ad-sales and content businesses, analysts say. For the dial-up part, analysts value the business at only $2 billion to $3 billion, though TW would likely want more.

Pic courtesy: ellessu.