AOL Inc. (AOL:US), the New York-based Web portal, has started a $400 million stock repurchase as part of a plan to return funds to shareholders from a $1.1 billion patent sale.
The company is buying the stock using a so-called Dutch auction tender offer, AOL said today in a statement. The deal brings the total amount that AOL plans to return to shareholders this year to $1.1 billion.
AOL, facing a slump in sales, agreed in April to sell and license patents to Microsoft Corp. (MSFT:US) The Internet company is selling more than 800 patents and related applications to Microsoft and will grant the software maker a nonexclusive license to its retained patent portfolio. AOL still holds more than 300 patents and applications following the transaction.
The move helped propel AOL’s stock price this year, contributing to a 81 percent gain in 2012. The shares were little changed yesterday, closing at $27.31.
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