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Updated: One more piece of separation anxiety has been settled: on Dec. 9, Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) shareholders will get one share of common stock in AOL for every 11 shares they hold of the parent as of Nov. 27. The next day AOL starts trading again under the familiar symbol. The share dividend is tax free but shareholders will owe taxes on the cash raised by the sale of fractional shares on the open market. Release.
The SEC could still throw a wrench in the works but that seems unlikely at this point. AOL has a spin-off FAQ to answer some of the key shareholder questions but it can’t answer the big questions: how will the market receive the one-time stock star now that’s it’s back as a troubled character actor? Will Time Warner see any lasting gain by shedding the internet unit or just less of a backache once the albatross is gone? And how many people will still be working for AOL this time next year? AOL said late last week that it plans to take up to a $200 million charge for restructuring in its first quarter; layoffs are expected to top 1,000.
Separately, Time Warner also declared its quarterly dividend, which was $0.1875 per share. The company’s stock closed up at $32.35 before the news of the AOL spin-off was announced.