CBS / CNET Networks

CBS Corporation has entered into an agreement to acquire CNET Networks, Inc., 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 USD 11.50 per share, representing an equity value of approximately USD 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.

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 USD 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 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.

(c) Company Press Release


Softbank / Oak Pacific Interactive

Softbank, the Japan-listed IT conglomerate, plans to acquire about a 40% stake in unlisted China-based Internet company Oak Pacific Interactive, reported the Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

The report, which did not cite sources, disclosed that Softbank has already obtained a 14% interest in Oak Pacific, which it acquired for about JPY 10bn. The Japanese company also holds about a 20% stake in terms of preferred shares. Altogether, Softbank will pay about JPY 40bn (USD 384m) to acquire the 40% interest, according to the report. As a result, Softbank will become the leading shareholder in Oak Pacific.

Softbank chief executive officer, Masayoshi Son, will become a director of Oak Pacific, the report added. Around 22 million members use Oak Pacific's social networking site, and Softbank plans to offer online advertising and video distribution to users of the site. Softbank also hopes to obtain capital gains when Oak Pacific goes public, according to the report.

(c) Mergermarket.com

freenet / debitel

freenet AG has today signed an agreement for the acquisition of the debitel Group, mainly consisting of debitel AG, TALKLINE GmbH and _dug telecom ag. The seller is debitel (Netherlands) Holding BV, a holding company controlled by Permira funds. The supervisory board of freenet AG has approved the acquisition. As consideration for the acquisition of the debitel Group, freenet will issue 32 million new freenet shares (approx. 24.99 % after the capital increase) and a long-term EUR 132.5m interest-bearing loan note to the vendor. On a cash-free basis, the debitel Group will be acquired with financial liabilities in the amount of approx. EUR 1,135 million.

Completion of the transaction is subject to anti-trust approval by the German cartel authority (Bundeskartellamt) and establishment of the conditions necessary for listing the new shares. Permira has agreed to a lock-up for 100% of the new shares until the end of the Annual General Meeting 2008 and for 60% of the new shares until the end of the Annual General Meeting 2009, in any event not longer than 31st August 2009.

As a consequence of the transaction, freenet does not intend to pay a dividend in 2008.

(c) Press Release