AOL Sells Entire Stake in Chinadotcom
HONG KONG (AP) _ America Online Inc. has sold its entire 6.8 million share stake in Chinadotcom Corp., ending all connection with the Hong Kong Internet service provider, Chinadotcom said Thursday.
The companies also agreed to cancel AOL’s two warrants which would have entitled it to buy more shares of Chinadotcom.
Chinadotcom, which began life as an Internet portal and gradually shifted to providing software products, has over 1,000 employees with operations in over 10 countries. The company had 101.2 million shares on average as of June 30.
Its CDC Software subsidiary serves the large Chinese export-manufacturing market.
In July, the companies announced a settlement that included the release of all claims between them and their affiliates.
Chinadotcom Chief Financial Officer Daniel Widdicombe said the company was glad AOL sold its stake.
``We’re pleased to have an overhang on our stock removed and finality reached on this issue, and look forward to pursuing our software strategy focused on two of the fastest growing sectors in China _ export manufacturing and mobile applications,″ he said.
AOL, which is trying to cut its net debt to $20 billion by the end of next year from $26 billion at the end of the first quarter, said in July it had raised nearly $3.8 billion this year from asset sales and a settlement with Microsoft Corp.
Chinadotcom did not say how much AOL received for their 6.8 million Chinadotcom shares. The stock traded in a range between $8.67 a share and $12.90 a share between July 28, when the two companies announced their agreement, and Sept. 11, when AOL’s disposal of the shares was complete.
In afternoon trading, shares of Chinadotcom climbed 32 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $9.68 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Shares of AOL’s parent, AOL Time Warner Inc. of New York, were up 2 cents to $15.78 on the New York Stock Exchange.