CBS Acquisition of CNET: Helpful to Both

Includes: CBS, CNET
by: Kevin Maney

CBS (NYSE:CBS) said this morning it will buy tech news network CNET (NASDAQ:CNET) for $1.8 billion.

That's probably helpful to both. CBS is in the declining network TV business, and its prospects have been going nowhere, its stock in decline since mid-2007. CNET's stock has essentially gone nowhere for years, and it's been facing down activist shareholder action of late. Seems like the deal will protect CNET while giving CBS some solid Internet-era outlets.

Conference call at 8:30 a.m. News release here:

NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO, May 15 -- CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) has entered into an agreement to acquire CNET Networks, Inc., it was announced today by Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation. Under the terms of the agreement, CBS will make a cash tender offer for all issued and outstanding shares of CNET Networks for $11.50 per share, representing an equity value of approximately $1.8 billion. The acquisition will make CBS one of the 10 most popular Internet companies in the United States, with a combined 54 million unique users per month, and approximately 200 million users worldwide.

"There are very few opportunities to acquire a profitable, growing, well-managed Internet company like CNET Networks," said Moonves. "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."

Based in San Francisco, CNET Networks owns many of the Internet's leading entertainment, news and information sites including CNET, ZDNet,,,, CNET, UrbanBaby, CHOW,, BNET, MySimon and TechRepublic. The company, which reported significant profits in 2007 on revenues of $406 million, has a large international footprint, particularly in China.

About this article:

Want to share your opinion on this article? Add a comment.
Disagree with this article? .
To report a factual error in this article, click here