Executives at AOL Time Warner Inc. squelched speculation that they are
looking to sell off the company's cable assets, adding that they would more
likely grow their cable holdings over time.
'If you look out over the next few years, you'll see us as a buyer, not a
seller,' AOL Time Warner chairman Steve Case told a group of analysts Wednesday
CEO Gerry Levin added that cable, with 12.8 million subscribers, is a major
contributor to AOL's bottom line.
'Cable is entering a phase in terms of financial performance where it is
right up there with [America Online] in terms of driving the company's growth,'
Some analysts had speculated that once the AOL Time Warner deal was
completed, the cable assets might be spun off.
AOL has done similar things in the past -- it swapped its backbone network in
1997 with WorldCom Inc. But co-chief operating officer Bob Pittman said cable is
a different situation.
'We divested ourselves of infrastructure where we found someone else to
provide it easier and cheaper with more flexibility,' Pittman said. 'But all of
these other elements, we are quite willing to own and maintain it if it is the
essential part of getting at and delivering the consumer promise. Which brings
us to, it [cable] is a terrific business and not only a terrific business today,
but a platform to build other businesses.'