CBS to buy CNET Networks for $1.8bn

CBS has entered into an agreement to acquire ZDNet.co.uk publisher CNET Networks

CBS has entered into an agreement to acquire ZDNet.co.uk publisher CNET Networks.

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 (£6) per share, representing an equity value of approximately $1.8bn (£920m). CNET Networks is one of the top 10 internet companies, with about 160 million unique monthly users worldwide. The acquisition will make CBS one of the 10 most popular internet companies in the US, with a combined 54 million unique users per month and approximately 200 million users worldwide, said CBS in a statement.

"There are very few opportunities to acquire a profitable, growing, well-managed internet company such as CNET Networks," said Leslie Moonves, president and chief executive of CBS.

Based in San Francisco, CNET Networks owns sites including CNET, ZDNet, GameSpot.com, TV.com, mp3.com, CNET News.com, UrbanBaby, CHOW, Search.com, BNET, MySimon and TechRepublic. The company reported revenues of $406m in 2007.

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, said CBS. The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2008.