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TW sells off AOL France

Neuf Cegetel sold for $365 mil

Days after shedding AOL Germany, Time Warner inked a deal Thursday to sell its French Internet biz to Gallic telco Neuf Cegetel for $365 million.

Together, the two deals, part of TW’s overhaul of its European AOL operations, will bring in well over $1 billion.

Agreement calls for Neuf Cegetel to buy AOL France, including its 500,000 broadband subscribers and its ASME operation, which manages customer service.

Time Warner appears to be going full speed ahead on its promised asset sales. It inked a deal Sunday to sell its German Internet business to Telecom Italia for $870 million.

As in the German deal, AOL will provide content and manage online ad sales for all of Neuf Cegetel’s Internet portals. In addition, AOL and Neuf Cegetel will share ad revenue from the sites, which combined will attract about 9 million unique visitors per month.

Neuf Cegetel has also agreed to hire up to 140 AOL France employees from the 5,000 expected to be cut overall as part of the restructuring.

For Time Warner, the deal strengthens its hand as a content and ad provider in Europe, while acquisition will help Neuf Cegetel reach its goal of 2 million broadband subscribers ahead of schedule, the companies said.

Deal, which is subject to French regulatory approval, is expected to close at the end of October.

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