NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) and Hale Global announced today the creation of a joint venture to run Patch, the premier platform for local news and information in the United States that serves more than 16 million people monthly** with a network of more than 900 sites. Under the terms of the agreement, AOL will contribute Patch into a new limited liability company, which will be operated and majority owned by Hale Global.
Hale Global brings substantial experience in the areas of online media, local marketing, mobile, retail, and advertising and has an impressive track record for re-defining company visions and creating long-term growth from the companies they operate.
AOL and Hale Global believe residents of all communities should be empowered through technology to stay connected and informed. The companies are committed to re-launching Patch as an efficient platform that allows citizens and businesses to create and share locally-themed news and content -- not just with those in their own communities but to the wider world.
Among the concepts planned for Patch moving forward:
- Technology solutions to make community participation seamless
- Mobile-first experience with social integration
- National, regional, and local advertising self-service tools
- Geo-targeted advertising products
“We are committed to bringing users, local businesses, writers and advertisers together into a Patch experience full of innovation and growth,” said Charles Hale, CEO of Hale Global. “Along with AOL, we are committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure Patch remains a vibrant part of the community.”
“We are impressed by the commitments from Patch and AOL to serve communities and advertisers and look forward to working together to achieve our shared long-term vision.”
“Patch is an important source of information for communities, and the joint venture we created has a unified mission to provide local platforms and hyper-local content,” said Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL. “AOL has established leading positions in attractive scaled opportunities including video, brands, advertising and subscriptions by making bold bets and strategically investing in these high-growth opportunities -- and local will be a growth space during the next decade of the Internet.”
“Hale Global has a strong track record of operational excellence and platform experience, and we are looking forward to working closely with them on Patch,” Armstrong said. AOL will retain a minority interest in Patch.
The companies anticipate closing the joint venture early in the first quarter of 2014, subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
* BIA/Kelsey’s US Local Media Annual Forecast, November 2013
** ComScore Multiplatform, November 2013
About Hale Global
Hale Global is an investment holding company with a 13-year track record as a buyer and partner of choice for growth-technology special situations, including underperforming divestitures from corporate parents. The firm brings extensive in-house software and mobile development teams, turnaround skills predicated upon product innovation, and a deep operational bench. More information about Hale Global can be found at www.haleglobal.com.
AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a brand company, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world. The home of a world-class collection of premium brands, AOL creates original content that engages audiences on a local and global scale. We help marketers connect with these audiences through effective and engaging digital advertising solutions.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding business strategies, market potential, future financial and operational performance and other matters. Words such as “anticipates,” “estimates,” “expects,” “projects,” “forecasts,” “intends,” “plans,” “will,” “believes” and words and terms of similar substance used in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs about future events. As with any projection or forecast, they are inherently susceptible to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Except as required by law, we are under no obligation to, and expressly disclaim any obligation to, update or alter any forward-looking statements whether as a result of such changes, new information, subsequent events or otherwise. Various factors could adversely affect our operations, business or financial results in the future and cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including those factors discussed in detail in the “Risk Factors” sections contained in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012 (the “Annual Report”) and in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2013 (the “Quarterly Report”), filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, we operate a media and technology company in a highly competitive, rapidly changing and consumer- and technology-driven industry. This industry is affected by government regulation, economic, strategic, political and social conditions, consumer response to new and existing products and services, technological developments and, particularly in view of new technologies, the continued ability to protect intellectual property rights. Our actual results could differ materially from management’s expectations because of changes in such factors. Achieving our business and financial objectives, including improved financial results and maintenance of a strong balance sheet and liquidity position, could be adversely affected by the factors discussed or referenced under the “Risk Factors” sections contained in the Annual Report and Quarterly Report as well as, among other things: 1) changes in our plans, strategies and intentions; 2) stock price volatility; 3) future borrowing and restrictive covenants under the new revolving credit facility; 4) the impact of significant acquisitions, dispositions and other similar transactions; 5) our ability to attract and retain key employees; 6) any negative unintended consequences of cost reductions, restructuring actions or similar efforts, including with respect to any associated savings, charges or other amounts; 7) market adoption of new products and services; 8) our ability to attract and retain unique visitors to our properties; 9) asset impairments; and 10) the impact of “cyber espionage.”