CBS Shells Out $1.8B to Buy CNET

Network gives shareholders huge premium
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2008 8:33 AM CDT
Exhibitors and show attendees gather at the CNET's Best of CES Awards ceremony at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008.    (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – CBS has agreed to buy CNET for $1.8 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports. The merger comes just as CNET was facing a full-scale shareholder revolt. Now, those investors are getting $11.50 a share, a price the stock hasn’t touched in two years and a 45% premium on yesterday’s close. Those shares immediately soared to $11.30 in premarket trading.

CBS says the deal will make it one of the top 10 web companies in the US. “There are very few opportunities to acquire a profitable, growing, well-managed Internet company like CNET,” said CBS chief Les Moonves. But major investor Jana Partners LLC might disagree with the “well-managed” part; the hedge fund has been waging a proxy battle at CNET, advocating strategic change.