AOL close to a deal to sell Bebo

Looks to offload social networking site to Criterion Capital

AOL is close to selling social networking site Bebo to private investment firm Criterion Capital Partners, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A spokesperson for AOL declined to comment. Criterion was not 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% to $22.13 in early afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
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