ViacomCBS to Sell CNET to Red Ventures for $500 Million

ViacomCBS definitively agreed to sell online-media platform CNET to Red Ventures for $500 million.
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ViacomCBS  (VIAB) - Get Report definitely agreed to sell CNET Media Group, an online media platform, to digital brand company Red Ventures for $500 million.

CNET Media includes the highly regarded technology news/advice site CNET.com and brands that encompass gaming, entertainment and B2B content. This includes TVGuide. 

The Wall Street Journal reported that the sale is part of an effort by CBS Interactive, the ViacomCBS unit that operates CNET, to focus on direct-to-consumer video streaming. The CBS All Access streaming service is expected to be the center of the company’s direct-to-consumer offering, the Journal reported.

The brands at Red Ventures, Fort Mill, S.C., include Healthline.com and Bankrate.com. 

"Red Ventures believes in the power of premium content from trusted brands that help people make better life decisions," Red Ventures Chief Executive Ric Elias said in a statement.

"Over the last 25 years CNET Media Group has built a dynamic portfolio of brands with well-earned authority on such topics as consumer tech and gaming that play an increasingly important role in people's lives. Red Ventures is eager to invest in CNET Media Group's growth with more personalized consumer experiences that will reinvigorate CNET Media Group's brands."

Mark Larkin, executive vice president and GM of CNET Media Group, and his team will continue to lead CNET Media following the acquisition.

Red Ventures was formed in 2000 as a performance marketing startup and has since grown to include more than 100 digital brands with more than 3,000 employees across 10 U.S. cities, the U.K. and Brazil.

It has two sides to its business. One is the marketing platform, and the other is consumer brands. Industry segments include home services, health, finance, travel, education and entertainment.

The purchase of CNET Media will help launch Red Ventures' entrance into consumer tech and gaming, it said.

The deal is subject to closing conditions including regulatory clearances. The companies expect to close the deal in the fourth quarter.

ViacomCBS shares recently traded at $29.35, up 0.2%. They'd climbed 24% year to date through Friday.