CBS has announced intentions to buy all outstanding CNET stock at a value of $1.8 billion.
“The core businesses of CNET Networks and CBS Interactive represent near perfect category symmetry in premium online content,” said Quincy Smith, president, CBS Interactive.
“Together we will have a terrific opportunity to not only grow our established businesses, but to build new attractive verticals of content as well. This is the beginning of an era for both CBS and CNET Networks.”
Gamespot will be included in the sale, obviously, as will GameFAQS, ZDNet, TV.com, mp3.com, CNET news.com, UrbanBaby, CHOW, Search.com, BNET and MySimon.
The deal will make CBS one of the top ten most popular internet publishers in the world.
Press release after the break.
CBS Corporation To Acquire CNET Networks, Inc.
CBS to Become a Top Ten U.S. Internet Company with Unparalleled Content and
Reach, Boasting Approximately 200 Million Monthly Unique Users Worldwide
CNET Networks’ CNET, ZDNet, GameSpot.com, TV.com, CNET News, UrbanBaby,
BNET, CHOW and Search.com, Among Others, To Be Combined with CBS
Corporation’s National and Local Interactive Businesses
NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO, May 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — CBS
Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) has entered into an agreement to acquire
CNET Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: CNET), 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,
GameSpot.com, TV.com, mp3.com, CNET news.com, UrbanBaby, CHOW, Search.com,
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.
Upon closing, CNET Networks’ sites will be combined with CBS’s stable
of dynamic and growing interactive businesses. These include CBS.com,
CBSSports.com, CBSCollegeSports.com, MaxPreps.com, CBSNews.com, last.fm,
Wallstrip, MobLogic, CBS Radio and CBS Television Stations digital media
platforms, and the distribution network of the CBS Audience Network, which
is made up of more than 300 partner Web sites and reaches 82% of all online
users in the United States.
“The core businesses of CNET Networks and CBS Interactive represent
near perfect category symmetry in premium online content,” said Quincy
Smith, President, CBS Interactive. “Together we will have a terrific
opportunity to not only grow our established businesses, but to build new
attractive verticals of content as well. This is the beginning of an era
for both CBS and CNET Networks; plus, it’s going to be great to work with
Neil and his team, many of whom I have known for many years.”
“We’re thrilled to join CBS and combine our interactive media
experience with CBS’s world-class content,” said Neil Ashe, Chief Executive
Officer, CNET Networks, Inc. “CNET Networks operates some of the most
important premium online brands, serving the most sought after online
audiences. Today’s announcement brings together two organizations that
complement each other and working with Leslie, Quincy and the talented
people at CBS, we look forward to taking our business and our brands to the
“We look forward to completing the acquisition of CNET Networks and the
terrific benefits it brings to CBS as Quincy, Neil and their combined teams
build upon our success,” Moonves concluded. “At the same time our strong
cash flow allows us to pay among the highest dividends in the industry, and
we are committed to continue to pay our attractive dividend to return value
The Board of Directors of CNET Networks has unanimously approved the
merger agreement and unanimously recommends that CNET Networks stockholders
accept the tender offer and tender their shares.
The transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to
be completed in the third quarter of this year.