Starboard Keeps Pressure on AOL
Client Starboard Value warned AOL it won’t back down from seeking Board representation despite AOL’s recent sale of patents to Microsoft. In a letter to AOL Directors, Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith acknowledged AOL’s nearly $1.1 billion patent sale as a positive first step towards unlocking value, but said it fails to address real problems, including AOL’s ailing display business and poor track record with acquisitions and investments. Starboard, which owns a 5.3% stake in AOL, has filed preliminary proxy materials with the SEC for the election of three directors at AOL’s upcoming annual meeting. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New York Post, Crain’s New York, Business Week and other national media have covered the story.