It’s an interesting question. We don’t have a firm view yet either way. It depends on whether the PE firm thinks all of AOL’s content properties are working well together and should be sold together, or whether it’s just a gigantic mess.
If they spin out Huffpo and TC, will Arianna and Mike Arrington go with them? Or will the sale release them from their contracts and lead to an immediate and full payout?
Will Mike Arrington buy TechCrunch back?
Will Arianna retake the helm of Huffpo?
And what about Tim Armstrong?
Also interesting questions.
The PE guys will almost certainly spin off MapQuest. And fire a few thousand more people. And sell AOL’s access business.
Another question will be what they do with AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) and AOL Mail. Both could go to Yahoo, Microsoft, or Google, presumably.
They’ll probably sell Advertising.com to Yahoo or another big player.
And AOL’s big bet, Patch?
That’s almost certainly toast. Those PE guys don’t like flushing hundreds of millions of dollars of cash flow down the drain.
And what other big parts of AOL are there that we’re forgetting?
“Search” is pretty much glued to Mail, access, and the AOL home page, so hard to sell that one as a standalone.
Anything else cool left in there?