CNET reportedly could face takeover fight

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New York—A consortium of prominent investment funds has amassed a 21% stake in online media company CNET Networks and is seeking to oust the company’s directors and take over a majority of its board, according to a report in Monday’s New York Times. According to the Times, the consortium sent a letter about its plan to CNET’s board two weeks ago, citing people briefed on the proposal, which the company has yet to disclose. The Times, citing these sources, said the consortium is led by Jana Partners, an $8 billion fund founded by Barry Rosenstein that has mounted successful proxy fights against a number of big corporations. The consortium also includes Sandell Asset Management, venture capital firm Spark Capital and Paul Gardi, an entrepreneur who created the underlying search technology for Ask Jeeves, a unit of IAC/Interactive. CNET rejected the proposal, contending that the consortium would effectively be taking over the company without paying a premium, according the Times.
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