Investing

A Hostile Takeover At CNET (CNET)

Hostile takeovers have come to the online content world. A group of outside investors have taken a major piece of CNET (CNET), the internet tech content company, and will try to push out the current board.

According to The New York Times “the consortium sent a letter about its plan to the CNet board two weeks ago, these people said, which the company has yet to disclose.” The group is led by Jana Partners, an $8 billion fund.

Web content is becoming more and more valuable and CNET is a company which is the premier provider of content about technology. But, its shares have underperformed the market. The firm has several pieces including a software download service and TV operation. It may be the value of the shares would be enhanced if the company was broken into three.

The new announcement opens the door to the issue of whether companies with valuable content ranging from TheStreet.com (TSCM) to private companies like Huffington Post and TechCrunch could become more likely to outside offers.

The web is growing and portals lack quality content that they own themselves. That may change fairly quickly if CNET’s new investors show that the company has hidden value.

Douglas A. McIntyre