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Case Reduces His Stake in Time Warner

August 06, 2004|From Bloomberg News

Stephen Case is trimming his $250-million stake in Time Warner Inc., marking the first time he has sold shares since resigning as chairman of the world's largest media company 15 months ago.

Case disclosed in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that he sold 100,000 shares this week for about $1.7 million. He plans to sell a total of 1.65 million shares during the next three months, said Time Warner spokeswoman Tricia Primrose.

Case owns 15.1 million Time Warner shares and has options to purchase 7.9 million more, SEC documents show.

Primrose said that Case, 45, was selling the stock for financial planning purposes, including diversification. Having resigned his position as chairman, Case remains on the board at Time Warner and is devoting himself to business pursuits in the real estate and resort industries, as well as running a family charitable foundation in Washington.

The stock sales are the first by Case since 2001, when his America Online Inc. acquired the original Time Warner for $124 billion, forming AOL Time Warner Inc. After the merger was completed in January, Case sold 2 million shares during the next several months for as much as $51.89 each.

AOL Time Warner shares began to fall in July of that year, a decline that accelerated when write-offs at the AOL Internet unit produced a $98.7-billion loss for 2002.

Case resigned as chairman in May 2003 and was replaced by Chief Executive Richard Parsons. The company dropped AOL from its name last October.

Case had purchased 1 million Time Warner shares at $24 to $24.25 each in February 2002. Now he is selling at an average price of a little less than $17 a share.

The filings show he is still making money on this week's trades, part of a preset trading plan that he adopted in June, because he obtained the stock through the exercise of options at $6.25 a share.

Time Warner fell 24 cents to $16.64 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. The stock is down 7.5% this year.

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