RealTime IT News

Bright Outlook For Closing of CNET/ZDNet Marriage

With a union imminent, CNET Networks Inc. and ZDNet Tuesday reported that they expect to generate $580 million in 2001 revenues.

The numbers are in line with original forecasts presented by CNET, an online information provider, when it first proposed the acquisition of competitor ZDNet in mid-July. At that time CNET predicted the combined company would generate revenues of more than $500 million in 2001.

The acquisition of ZDNet will be a stock deal valued at $1.6 million. Combined, the two companies have an online audience of 16.6 million unique monthly users and would rank as the eight largest property on the Internet, with a reach of 22 percent, according to a Media Matrix statement issued last May.

The acquisition came a step closer to fruition last week when the standard waiting period ended without inquiry by the Federal Trade Commission or the Department of Justice.

The next step in the process will take place on October 13 when ZDNET parent company, Ziff-Davis, will hold special voting meeting for shareholders of both ZD and ZDNet stock. Meanwhile, CNET is holding a meeting on October 17 during which shareholders will vote on the acquisition. The votes are expected to coincide with the closing the deal, according to Goldman, Sachs & Co. investment research.

The union looks like a go. Softbank, which owns a majority of voting stock of Ziff-Davis, has agreed to vote its shares in favor of the transaction. Additionally, members of CNET's management representing about 20 percent of CNET's stock have dually agreed to vote in favor of the transaction.

In 1999, CNET reported revenue of $112.3 million.

CNET is a direct competitior of internet.com, the parent of this web site.