AOL Announces $600 Million Buyback, Special Dividend

AOL Inc. (AOL) announced a $600 million accelerated stock buyback agreement and a special cash dividend of $5.15 a share, the final steps in returning about $1.1 billion to shareholders.

The Internet company will purchase $600 million worth of common stock under an agreement with Barclays Plc, according to a statement today. The one-time dividend will be payable Dec. 14, New York-based AOL said.

This month AOL, owner of the Huffington Post and TechCrunch websites, rose to its highest value since it was spun out of Time Warner Inc. (TWX) in 2009, after an increase in advertising revenue and a one-time gain on a patent sale helped the company return to a profit in the second quarter.

The company also adopted a tax asset protection plan as a deterrent to any individual or fund acquiring more than 4.9 percent of its shares outstanding without approval of the board. AOL said it wants to protect potential benefits that might be curbed if control of the company changed.

The shares rose 2.9 percent to $33.86 at the close in New York time. AOL has more than doubled in value this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cecile Daurat in Wilmington at cdaurat@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kevin Miller at kmiller@bloomberg.net

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