Billionaire financier Carl Icahn, who is pushing for changes at Time Warner Inc., said Thursday that Chief Executive Richard Parsons’ plan to fix America Online won’t lift the company’s stock price.
“I agree AOL is undervalued, but that’s not enough,” said Icahn, who is demanding that Time Warner expand a planned buyback of shares and spin off the company’s cable TV unit.
In a phone interview, Icahn responded to Parsons’ comment Wednesday that turning around the company’s America Online Internet unit was his “No. 1 point of focus.”
Icahn said he was talking to other large investors in New York-based Time Warner, the world’s biggest media company, about his demands. Parsons said reviving AOL, which has been losing subscribers, would do more to boost the stock price than buybacks or a cable spinoff.
Icahn’s response signaled that he planned to keep pressuring Parsons, who told investors Wednesday that he was considering the financier’s proposals. Icahn, along with investment partners, holds a 2.6% stake in Time Warner and plans to nominate candidates for its board.
Shares in Time Warner rose 10 cents Thursday to $18.18.