AOL has retained two of the biggest names in mergers and acquisitions, law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and investment banking company Allen & Company LLC. A team from those firms, including Wachtell, Lipton founding partner Martin Lipton and Allen & Co. managing director Nancy Peretsman, met with AOL executives in the company's Manhattan offices Wednesday, Adweek has learned.
Lipton, 80, is perhaps the leading M&A attorney in the U.S. Legal observers believe that his personal involvement and presence at the AOL office could indicate that a highlevel transaction is being discussed, but AOL CEO Tim Armstrong told Adweek by email, "There is no deal on the table, no proposed deal, and both parties are on retainer with us and we work with them. Our strategy hasn't changed and we are moving faster than ever on it." The company declined to say if there are ongoing discussions about a merger or acquisition.
Wall Street, however, does not think AOL is moving fast enough. "Frankly, AOL hasn't delivered on its promise yet," analyst Sameet Sinha told The New York Times last week. "It's just been a series of stumbles."
UPDATE (3:35 p.m. ET): Following Adweek's scoop, AOL's stock price jumped nearly 10 percent: