In June 1998, AOL acquired Mirabilis Ltd. for $287 million. Mirabilis is the company behind messaging software ICQ. Now ICQ is being passed on to another buyer, Digital Sky Technologies. DST paid AOL $187.5 million to take ICQ off their hands. DST is a Russian investment company and ICQ is the most popular messaging service in Russia.
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AOL has hired Allen & Company along with Morgan Stanley to try and find a buyer for ICQ. ICQ is an instant messaging software that competed with AOL Instant Messenger before being bought out. There are supposedly two non-U.S. based firms that already have an interest in buying out ICQ from AOL. The deal will most likely take place when AOL spins off from Time Warner in December.
AOL is seeking around $300 million for ICQ according to a source with AllThingsD. AOL bought ICQ for $287 million in 1998 with about $125 million in earnouts. Tel Aviv based firm Mirabilis was the company that originally developed ICQ.
ICQ has lost quite many users in the United States since they launched originally, but their service is still strong in countries such as Germany and Russia. AOL Instant Messenger still has a strong user base in the United States.