Buried in a WSJ story on social networking sites: News that social network Bebo is still “exploring a possible sale,” this time with CBS. There’s some logic here: CBS digital chief Quincy Smith has been vocal about his affinity for the UK-based social networking site, one of the launch partners of the CBS “Audience Network.”
CEO Les Moonves said CBS has plenty of dry powder to make an Internet acquisition in 2008, and he certainly seems pleased with his other UK-based buy, Last.fm — his pr people keep saying so. The asking price for Bebo is said to be in the $1 billion range, which would value the company at $25 per user (40 m), a relative bargain compared to Facebook. Microsoft’s $240 million investment valued the company at $15 billion or $227 per user (66 m). Why the discrepancy? Facebook is Facebook and Bebo is, well, a social networking site that’s big in the UK.
TechCrunch has previously argued that Bebo is going to Google, or maybe News Corp., or someone. Kara Swisher insists that Bebo’s merely trying to raise money, via Allen & Co., at a $1 billion valuation. And the great thing about Bebo for-sale stories is that you can pretty much tie any prospective buyer you want to the site. For instance, last week we heard that AOL was looking at Bebo, but we haven’t been able to confirm it. For the sort-of-record, here’s a running list of rumoured Bebo tire-kickers:
- AOL (TWX)
- News Corp (NWS)
- Yahoo (YHOO)
- Microsoft (MSFT)
- Viacom (VIAB)
- Google (GOOG)
Anyone else we’re missing? Let us know in comments, or at [email protected]
See Also: CBS: Last.Fm Growing
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