CBS Buys CNET Networks
May 15, 2008 at 6:04 AM (PT)
CBS CORP. has announced the purchase of tech website, podcast and streaming media company CNET NETWORKS, INC. for about $1.8 billion ($11.50 per share). The deal brings SAN FRANCISCO-based CNET's popular tech news and reviews websites CNET.COM, NEWS.COM and ZDNET, its array of podcasts (including "BUZZ OUT LOUD") and online video ("CNET LIVE," "THE BUZZ REPORT"), and several other sites including MP3.COM, gaming site GAMESPOT.COM, and comparison-shopping site MYSIMON into the CBS fold.
The core businesses of CNET Networks and CBS Interactive represent near perfect category symmetry in premium online content.
The CNET properties will be combined with CBS' existing interactive division. The acquisition has been approved by CNET's board and is pending CNET shareholder approval.
"There are very few opportunities to acquire a profitable, growing, well-managed Internet company like CNET Networks," said CBS Pres./CEO LES 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."
"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 added. "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 to shareholders."
"The core businesses of CNET NETWORKS and CBS INTERACTIVE represent near-perfect category symmetry in premium online content," said QUINCY SMITH, President of 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 CNET CEO NEIL ASHE. "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 next level."