CNet to acquire Ziff-Davis

By Associated Press
July 19, 2000 5:59PM (UTC)
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The Internet company CNET has agreed to acquire Ziff-Davis Inc. for $1.6 billion in stock, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

CNET, which provides information on technology products, news and television programming, will gain Ziff-Davis' business-to-consumer technology publication and Web site Computer Shopper. It will also acquire an online educational service focused on the technology industry called Smart Planet and the online property ZDNet, the Journal said on its Web site.

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San Francisco-based CNET Networks Inc. will exchange 0.59 share for each of Ziff-Davis' 85 million shares. Based on CNET's stock price of $32.1875 late Tuesday, the transaction is valued a $1.6 billion.

The deal, which has to be approved by the shareholders of both companies, is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

CNET chief executive Shelby Bonnie will remain CEO of the combined entity, while Ziff-Davis CEO Dan Rosensweig will become president, the Journal said. CNET president Rich Marino will become chief operating officer of the combined company.

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Through the acquisition, which was expected to be announced Wednesday, CNET will gain a significant presence in 25 markets spanning Europe, Asia, North America and Latin America. CNET's international holdings currently include only eight Web properties in the Asia-Pacific region.

The new entity would have 1,600 employees and more than $500 million in revenue in 2001.


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