AOL Inc. (AOL:US), facing a fight with investor Starboard Value LP over board seats, said it tried to resolve the dispute as recently as April 25 but was rebuffed.
To avoid a “costly and damaging proxy fight,” AOL reached out to Starboard Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey C. Smith, aiming to put out a joint statement about the company’s business plan and strategy, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said today in a letter to shareholders. “However, Starboard declined the offer and to date, the parties have not been able to reach an amicable resolution.”
Starboard has asked AOL to return more cash to shareholders and is putting forth its own candidates for the company’s board. The investment firm first announced a plan to nominate directors in February.
AOL, which once got most of its revenue from dial-up Internet subscriptions, has struggled to transform itself into an advertising-based Web publisher. The New York-based company has seen its revenue and share price slump since it was spun off from Time Warner Inc. (TWX:US) in 2009.
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