CBS is taking aim at the young demographic as they prepare to shell out a whopping $1.8 billion in the acquisition of CNET Networks. The hefty sum amounts to $11.50 per share, a 44% premium over CNET’s closing price on the day of the announcement. JANA Partners, a major stakeholder in CNET, may be left unsatisfied by the deal despite the significant premium as it had been pushing recently for a management realignment. Whatever the case, the deal is as good as done and CBS has made no public statements with regards to immediate changes amongst CNET high-ups. CBS certainly has plenty to gain with the deal; in terms of reach, it will become one of the top 10 internet companies in the world. All services accounted for, CBS will now play host to over 54 million unique visitors per month and approximately 200 million total users worldwide. Sites that will now fall under CBS’s ownership as a result of the deal include CNET, ZDNet, TV.com, GameSpot.com, CNET News, CHOW and Search.com. President and CEO of CBS Les Moonves had this to say:
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.
The acquisition has been approved unanimously by the CBS board but there are still some hoops to jump through. All is thought to be finalized in Q3 of this year.