AOL close to selling social network site Bebo: report

NEW YORK Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:23pm EDT

The AOL logo is seen on the outside of the building housing the companies corporate headquarters in New York May 28, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The AOL logo is seen on the outside of the building housing the companies corporate headquarters in New York May 28, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - AOL Inc is close to selling social network site Bebo to private investment firm Criterion Capital Partners, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

A spokesperson for AOL declined to comment. Criterion was not immediately available for comment.

AOL bought the site more than two years ago for $850 million, but is now aiming to streamline its business since Time Warner spun it off last year. In April, AOL said it planned to either sell or close down Bebo.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the situation, said the Bebo sale would be done at a price that "is a small fraction" of what AOL originally paid. Exact terms could not be learned, it said.

Shares of AOL traded up 2.2 percent to $22.13 in early afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba)

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