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AOL Discounted Gets Last, Best Hope in Private Equity: Real M&A

For a private equity firm that’s looking for the cheapest way to get online, AOL Inc. is trading for 57 cents on the dollar.

The Internet pioneer spun off from Time Warner Inc. in 2009 plunged to a record low last week after cutting this year’s profit forecast because of slowing growth in display advertising sales. With its market capitalization reduced to $1.3 billion from a peak of $3.1 billion last year, New York-based AOL is now the cheapest relative to its net assets of any U.S. Web company with a value of more than $500 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.