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Friday, 16 May 2008 07:15

CBS to purchase CNET

Written by David Stellmack

Image

Deal worth $1.8 billion


CBS Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer, Leslie Moonves, has announced that CBS Corporation has entered into an agreement to acquire CNET Networks, Inc. The agreement terms provide that CBS will make a cash tender offer for all issued and outstanding shares of CNET Networks for $11.50 per share, or approximately $1.8 billion. The merger of the companies will give CBS one of the top 10 Internet companies in the U.S., with a combined 54 million unique users per month and nearly 200 million users globally.

CEO Leslie Moonves issued this statement about the merger:  “There are very few opportunities to acquire a profitable, growing, well-managed Internet company like CNET Networks. CBS stands for premium content and unparalleled reach, and CNET Networks will add a tremendous platform to extend our complementary entertainment, news, sports, music and information content to a whole new global audience. Together, CBS and CNET Networks will have significant additional exposure to the fastest- growing advertising sector and can accelerate our growth through a number of new content, promotion and advertising initiatives. We could not be more pleased with the prospect of adding CNET Networks and its tremendous team of people to the CBS family. I look forward to working with Quincy Smith, Neil Ashe and the considerable combined talent at both companies, as we build upon our success."

The Board of Directors of CNET Networks unanimously approved the merger agreement. It also unanimously recommended that CNET Networks stockholders accept the CBS tender offer for their shares. CNET Networks owns many of the Internet's leading sites, including CNET, ZDNet, GameSpot.com, TV.com, mp3.com, CNET news.com, UrbanBaby, CHOW, Search.com, BNET, MySimon and TechRepublic. CNET reported revenue in 2007 of $406 million. CNET Networks recently announced a partnership with Yahoo! to provide tech news and tech reviews to Yahoo.  As part of the partnership Yahoo can sell display ads on CNET ‘properties’ and CNET can sell ads combined with the content it provides for Yahoo.

After the merger, CNET Networks' sites will be combined with CBS's businesses, which include CBS.com, CBSSports.com, CBSCollegeSports.com, MaxPreps.com, CBSNews.com, last.fm, Wallstrip, MobLogic, CBS Radio and CBS Television Stations digital media platforms;, as well as the distribution network of the CBS Audience Network, which consists of over 300 partner Web sites and reaches over 80% of all online users in the U.S.

The merger is expected to close in Q3 of 2008.

Last modified on Friday, 16 May 2008 10:14

David Stellmack

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