ViacomCBS is offloading CNET Media Group in a $500 million cope with digital-marketing firm Red Ventures, which introduced the deal Monday.
Underneath the deal, CNET Media Group EVP and GM Mark Larkin, together with the unit’s senior execs, will stay with Red Ventures following the acquisition. The CNET sale is predicted to shut in the fourth quarter of 2020. CNET Media Group has 980 staff and “our plan is to develop CNET in methods unexpected,” a Red Ventures rep informed Selection. She declined to handle whether or not the corporate anticipates any layoffs following the deal shut, saying that “proper now we’re specializing in how we develop.”
CBS acquired CNET Networks in 2008 for $1.eight billion. As well as to the flagship CNET consumer-tech website, the CNET Media Group additionally homes manufacturers together with GameSpot, the Metacritic reviews-aggregation website, TVGuide.com, Chowhound, Roadshow, and B2B tech website ZDNet.
“I consider that the mixture of Red Ventures’ customer-experience platform and CNET Media Group’s wealthy content material and deep editorial experience enormously advantages each our audiences and our companions,” Larkin stated in a press release. “Red Ventures shares our imaginative and prescient and is dedicated to realizing the complete potential of our portfolio of world-class manufacturers.”
Based in 2000, Red Ventures says it has 3,000 staff in the U.S., the U.Ok. and Brazil. The Fort Mill, S.C.-based firm owns and operates digital manufacturers together with Bankrate, the Factors Man, Healthline, MyMove and Allconnect.com.
Red Ventures’ current manufacturers function in the house providers, well being, finance, journey, training and leisure verticals. The addition of CNET Media Group “accelerates” Red Ventures’ entry into new verticals, together with shopper know-how and gaming, in accordance to the corporate.
“Over the past 25 years CNET Media Group has constructed a dynamic portfolio of manufacturers with well-earned authority on such matters as shopper tech and gaming that play an more and more vital position in individuals’s lives,” Ric Elias, Red Ventures CEO and co-founder, stated in saying the deal. “Red Ventures is keen to make investments in CNET Media Group’s progress with extra customized shopper experiences that can reinvigorate CNET Media Group’s manufacturers and unlock unprecedented alternative for all.”
The CNET deal continues Red Ventures’ roll-up and partnership technique to develop its consumer-facing footprint over the previous three years. Earlier this 12 months, Time Inc. introduced a partnership with Red Ventures to launch a brand new personal-finance website known as NextAdvisor. In 2019, Red Ventures acquired Healthline Media, which incorporates Healthline.com, Greatist.com and Medical Information At present (MNT). In 2017, Red Ventures acquired the Bankrate personal-finance web site for $1.24 billion, a deal that encompassed the Factors Man and CreditCards.com.
Because the merger of Viacom and CBS was accomplished final 12 months, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish has stated the media conglomerate was evaluating promoting non-core belongings. Earlier this 12 months, Bakish stated the corporate was looking for to promote guide writer Simon & Schuster, which analysts say might fetch upwards of $1.5 billion. Bakish beforehand stated ViacomCBS additionally exploring a sale of Black Rock, the workplace constructing in midtown Manhattan which has served as CBS’s headquarters for the reason that mid-1960s.
CNET first launched in 1994, in the early days of the web growth. The namesake website covers know-how, science and tradition with information, critiques, shopping for guides, options and commentary, and operates a Spanish-language model, CNET en Español.
Traders in privately held Red Ventures embrace Normal Atlantic (which made a strategic funding in the corporate in 2010) and Silver Lake Companions (which acquired a stake in 2015 for $250 million).
Red Ventures CEO Ric Elias co-founded the corporate 20 years in the past and managed to shepherd it by means of the dot-com bust. In 2009, Elias was a survivor of the crash-landing of US Airways Flight 1549, generally known as the “Miracle on the Hudson,” which he has stated modified his life and led to his 2011 TED Speak, “Three Issues I Realized Whereas My Airplane Crashed.” Elias, a local of Puerto Rico, graduated from Boston Faculty and holds an MBA from Harvard Enterprise College.
For the CNET Media Group sale, Evercore is serving as monetary adviser and Ok&L Gates LLP is performing as authorized adviser to Red Ventures. Citi is serving as monetary adviser and Shearman & Sterling LLP is performing as authorized adviser to ViacomCBS.