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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 September, 2003, 22:20 GMT 23:20 UK
AOL sells US sports teams
Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks are being sold off
Debt-hobbled media giant AOL Time Warner has agreed to sell its Atlanta-based professional basketball and ice hockey teams.

AOL said the sale of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, Atlanta Thrashers hockey team and the operating rights to the city's Philips Arena had an "economic value" of $250m.

No further details were released about the value of the deal.

AOL is under pressure to cut an estimated $25bn debt mountain.

If the deal is approved, the new owners of the Hawks and Thrashers will include Rutherford Seydel, a lawyer and the son-in-law of media mogul Ted Turner, who owned the teams before ceding control several years ago.

Mr Turner resigned his position of AOL vice-chairman earlier this year but remains on the board of directors.

AOL shares rose 28 cents, or 1.78 percent, to $16.05.

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