Activist fund Starboard takes AOL stake

Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:59am EST

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(Reuters) - Activist hedge fund Starboard Value has taken a 4.5 percent stake in AOL Inc and requested a meeting with the Internet company's Chief Executive and board.

The fund said Wednesday that AOL is deeply undervalued and it blamed the company's massive operating losses in its display business. It also expressed concern over further acquisitions and investments into money-losing growth initiatives like Patch.

Starboard, which estimated that AOL may be losing more than $500 million per year in its display business alone, asked for an in-person meeting with the board to discuss how the company's operating performance and its valuation can be improved.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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