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Takeover talks clouds CNet future

Three months ago, a joke posted by Silicon Alley Insider (opens in new tab), saying that Cnet could buy TechCrunch for USD 100 million, snowballed into something of a mini hurricane online with arguments (opens in new tab) and counter (opens in new tab) arguments flying around (opens in new tab).

Now, according to the New York Times, it's Cnet's turn to be courted as a consortium of investment funds (opens in new tab) has gathered a 21 percent stake in Cnet and is planning a coup to turn Cnet from a ageing online media company into a more effective, profit-making entity.

The consortium is lead by Jana Partners, with the help of Sandell Asset Management, venture capital firm Spark Capital, and entrepreneur Paul Gardi and has caused Cnet's shares to jump by 17 percent to USD 10 before the market opens, its highest in a year, valuating the company at USD 1.5 billion.

Publishing powerhouses like Techcrunch, Arstechnica or Mashable, produce quality content with a minimum amount of people onboard and they rely on open source technology and the use of outsourcing to make sure that overheads are reduced to a minimum.

Cnet's shares have been waiting for better days after falling massively since Cnet's heydays back in 2000 and in the past few months, the company has divest itself from non core services like Webshots which it sold for USD 45 million.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.