AOL Time Warner Inc. chairman and CEO Richard Parsons said Tuesday that a
planned initial public offering of the conglomerate's Time Warner Cable unit is
on track for the second quarter, adding that the company could also unload
between $2 billion and $4 billion of assets.
Speaking at the Bear Stearns Cos. Inc. Media Entertainment & Information
conference in Palm Beach, Fla., Parsons said he expected the unwinding of the
company's Time Warner Entertainment partnership with Comcast Corp. to be
finished by the end of the month.
As part of the TWE agreement, Comcast would receive 21 percent of a Time
Warner Cable IPO.
Once that restructuring agreement is closed, Parsons added, the cable IPO
could begin in the second quarter or by summer at the latest.
The Time Warner Cable IPO could raise as much as $4 billion, most of which
would go toward paring down AOL Time Warner's $26 billion debt.
In its fourth-quarter conference call with analysts, AOL Time Warner outlined
a plan to reduce that debt to $20 billion by the end of 2004, including the sale
of noncore assets.
At the Bear Stearns conference, Parsons said the company could raise between
$2 billion and $4 billion through asset sales.
AOL Time Warner is expected to sell its book division, its four
professional-sports teams in Atlanta and its interests in cable channels
Courtroom Television Network and Comedy Central.