You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

AOL TW shelves books sale

Co. failed to get asking price

NEW YORK — AOL Time Warner Books will be staying on the shelf, after an auction to sell the division failed to generate a price “that reflected the value of the asset,” according to a company spokesman.

AOL TW said it has decided to keep its consumer book group, which includes Warner Books and Little Brown, in the corporate family. Company says it’s satisfied with the unit’s cash flow position and profitability and described it has “a solid asset.”

CEO Richard Parsons has insisted that AOL Time Warner is not in a fire sale mode and over the last six weeks has sufficiently fortified its financial situation — thanks in part to the $1.2 billion sale of its stake in Comedy Central and an unexpected $750 million payout from Microsoft — to meet its debt reduction targets.

AOL TW was thought to be seeking $350 million-$400 million for the group. U.K. group Perseus had been in the running for the unit but reportedly was unable to raise the funding for an acquisition of that scale. Lead contender Random House may not have been willing to pay the premium AOL TW was seeking.

Sources at Bertelsmann had suggested that the powers within the German media conglom refused to back Random House chief Peter Olson’s desire to buy AOL Time Warner Books, particularly at a time when the New York-based book group is undergoing its own restructuring to cut costs amid sluggish book sales.

More Scene

  • Nicole KidmanWarner Bros. Pictures World Premiere

    How James Wan Convinced Nicole Kidman to Star in 'Aquaman'

    While some actors dream of playing a superhero, that wasn’t the case for the cast of “Aquaman.” “I knew nothing about this,” Amber Heard, who plays Mera in the James Wan-directed action film, told Variety at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. “I knew nothing about comic books in general. I didn’t know anything about this [...]

  • Hugh Jackman'To Kill a Mockingbird' Broadway

    'To Kill a Mockingbird's' Starry Opening: Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and More

    The Shubert Theatre in New York City last was filled on Thursday night with Oscar winners, media titans, and, of course, Broadway legends who came out for the opening of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The starry guest list included Oprah Winfrey, Barry Diller, “Les Misérables” co-stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Gayle King, [...]

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

  • John CenaSports Illustrated Sportsperson of the

    John Cena on WWE's Acceptance by Hollywood and the Professional Sports World

    John Cena says the WWE is finally getting the attention it deserves by Hollywood and the professional sports world. “I’m just glad that no longer are we looked down upon, not only by the sport industry, but by the performing arts industry,” Cena told Variety on Tuesday night in Beverly Hills at Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of [...]

  • Steve Carell Welcome to Marwen

    Steve Carell on New Film 'Welcome to Marwen' and Reprising His 'Anchorman' Character

    In 2000, Mark Hogancamp was nearly beaten to death by five men outside of a bar. Left with brain damage and little money to afford therapy, Hogancamp began creating miniature doll versions of himself, his friends, and his attackers as a way to cope. This true story inspired the 2010 documentary “Marwencol” and the upcoming [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content