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Earlier today, AOL shareholder Starboard declared a proxy war on the company and named four people it wants to be on the board of directors.AOL just fired back in a statement. The gist: We tried to work with these guys, but they want to fight.
Here’s the statement.
AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) issued the following statement in response to Starboard Value LP’s Letter to the AOL Board
The recent improved earnings results of AOL Inc. (“AOL” or “the Company”) highlight the significant progress we are making in executing our strategy to improve AOL’s growth trajectory and create meaningful shareholder value. We ended 2011 with our best performance as a company in the past five years, with substantial growth in advertising revenue, improvements in legacy revenue streams, and significant cost reductions. Our stock price has acted in kind, appreciating approximately 80% from our 2011 low and 20% year-to-date.
AOL’s Board of Directors and management team consistently review the strategy and performance of the Company and have taken meaningful actions to enhance shareholder return including the divestiture of non-core assets, significant cost reduction, a meaningful buyback of Company equity, and the implementation of an accountable and performance-‐based culture to operate against our clear strategy.
AOL has held several meetings with Starboard Value LP to address their questions. AOL communicated our continued intent to simplify AOL’s business and our efforts to accelerate shareholder value creation. AOL has offered Starboard Value LP an opportunity to help shape the Company’s Board of Directors composition and size. Unfortunately, Starboard Value LP has a singularly focused agenda and rejected this productive path to address their stated concerns and drive increased shareholder value.
Our Board of Directors and management team remain firmly committed to creating value for all shareholders. We have a valuable patent portfolio and several months ago, prior to Starboard’s first letter, the AOL Board of Directors authorised the start of a process, and hired advisors, to realise the value of certain non-strategic patents. AOL has a clear plan to provide our consumers and customers with exceptional value, which we believe will lead to the creation of shareholder value. We will continue to aggressively execute and innovate on our strategy as we continue the turnaround of AOL.
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