AOL has finally got rid of social networking site Bebo, in a deal which is likely to come as a relief to many at the pioneering internet firm.
New owner, banking and financial advisory firm Criterion Capital Partners (CCP), announced the deal today, saying it would retain Bebo's San Francisco-based headquarters.
"The young, highly active user base, revenue history, presence in countries throughout the world and solid technical infrastructure make it an attractive media platform both as a standalone entity and in the context of our broader investment objectives," said CCP managing partner Adam Levin.
Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, AOL bought the youth-oriented social network for $850 million in 2008 and the rumours are that it may have let it go for less than $30m in the end.
In a note to employees this morning, AOL chairman Tim Armstrong tried to put a brave face on matters, saying that the deal would "create a meaningful tax deduction" for AOL, which would allow the firm to "more effectively manage our tax strategy".
"This sale is important for Bebo's users and for AOL. The deal will allow Bebo's users to remain within the social platform that they know and love, while enabling a new owner to bring new possibilities and experiences to bear," he wrote.
"Criterion Capital Partners are specialists in facilitating growth plans and turnarounds and are well placed to drive Bebo's effort to strengthen its foothold within the highly competitive social networking arena."
As AOL continues to slim down and reinvent itself it will be glad to be shot of this albatross, but question marks must persist about the long term future for all at the former web giant.
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