Quadrangle Looked At Taking Stake in CNET Networks

Rafat Ali
Tuesday, May 27, 2008; 7:07 PM

This weekend we reported that a private equity firm was in discussions to take a minority stake in CNET Networks ( NSDQ: CNET). Now we have confirmed through sources that the firm was Quadrangle Group, the media and communications focused PE firm founded by Steve Rattner. The talks on Quadrangle's side were led by Dan Rosensweig, our sources say, which seems logical since Rosensweig was the president of CNET Networks prior to joining Yahoo ( NSDQ: YHOO), and his experience at both the companies gave him enough insight into the issues with CNET Networks. He left Yahoo in March last year, after one of the major reorgs.

According to the filing, "Between January 31, 2008 and April 7, 2008, representatives of the Company and the private investment firm discussed a potential transaction. After a discussion among the Company Board, members of the Company's management and Morgan Stanley regarding the potential transaction with the private investment firm, the Company Board did not view such a transaction as in the best interests of the Company's stockholders based on the proposed terms and discussions were terminated." This timeline suggests Quadrangle came in after Jana Partners and the consortium came out in public about its board fight with CNET.

Does this also mean Quadrangle will be involved in any talks with Yahoo at some point, especially if there are any transactions which involve selling off any parts of the company? May not happen anytime soon since as part of his severance package from Yahoo, Rosensweig has a non-compete with Microsoft ( NSDQ: MSFT) or Google ( NSDQ: GOOG) for three years, starting March 2007, and also includes no recruiting from Yahoo, etc.


More CNET: Another Private Equity Firm Came Close To Taking Minority Stake Industry Moves: Former Yahoo COO Daniel Rosensweig Joins Quadrangle Dan Rosensweig's Tenure With Yahoo Ends Today; Also Osder's Last Day Yahoo Will Reorganize Into Three Units; COO Rosensweig To Leave; Decker Gets More Power

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