Turner sale of stock jars AOL TW

Mogul has seen shares' value fall from $8 bil to $1.2 bil

NEW YORK — Ted Turner sold $5 million worth of AOL Time Warner stock a week after he resigned as vice chairman and the ailing media conglom reported a $100 billion loss for 2002.

Turner has routinely sold shares of AOL TW over the past several years to fuel his philanthropic projects. Yet news of the current sale, revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, served as a reminder to Wall Street that Turner will be free to unload a lot more stock if he steps down from the company’s board of directors. It’s not clear if he intends to do so.

AOL TW shares fell 2.3% to $10.59 on Friday.

According to the filing, Turner sold 450,000 common shares on Tuesday for $11-$11.26 each. He also gifted 1.7 million shares as part of his pledge of $100 million a year, for 10 years, to causes supported by the United Nations.

Turner still remains AOL TW’s largest individual shareholder, with about 117 million shares valued at $1.2 billion. He has seen the value of his AOL TW holding shrivel from close to $8 billion as shares plummeted since the merger was announced just over three years ago.

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