updated 8/31/2005 10:34:39 AM ET 2005-08-31T14:34:39

Billionaire financier Carl Icahn may join an investor group that could buy as much as 10 percent of Time Warner Inc.'s shares, according to a newspaper report Tuesday.

Citing a person familiar with matter, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site that Icahn is willing to put up as much as $1.5 billion of the $6 billion that may be needed to acquire the shares.

Icahn was not available for comment on Tuesday. He and three other investors recently took a $2.2 billion stake in the media company.

"We a have company policy that we don't comment on rumor or speculation," Time Warner spokeswoman Mia Carbonell said.

Earlier this month Icahn said he had met with Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons, and the two held a "productive" discussion about Icahn's ideas for improving the value of Time Warner share prices.

Icahn, who is known for taking stakes in companies and agitating for corporate change, has pushed for a $20 billion stock buyback at Time Warner. He also has called on the media giant to spin off its cable television unit.

Time Warner has already announced that it plans a $5 billion share buyback and a partial spinoff of the cable unit.

Time Warner shares rose 42 cents, or 2.4 percent, to close at $17.89 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has traded between $15.82 and $19.90 over the past year.

There are about 5.7 billion Time Warner shares outstanding.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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