New York--Saying it has neared the end of exploring "strategic alternatives," Ziff-Davis announced Friday that ZDNet, its online technology portal, will become a stand-alone company with Dan Rosenweig as president-CEO. Softbank, which currently owns about 70% of Ziff-Davis' stock, will own about 45% of ZDNet. Currently, ZDNet trades as a tracking stock, a structure that will be eliminated in the second quarter of 2000. Since mid-1999, Ziff-Davis has dismantled itself piece by piece, selling off ZD Market Intelligence, ZD Education, ZDTV and ZD Publishing. The company also said it expects to complete a sale of its ZD Events business, which includes the Comdex trade shows, in the second quarter. The proceeds from the sales will be used to pay off Ziff-Davis' debt and to pay shareholders a dividend, estimated to be $5 a share, in the second quarter. The few remaining pieces of Ziff-Davis, which include Computer Shopper
magazine, will be folded into ZDNet. Each share of ZD stock will remain outstanding as a single share; each ZDNet share will convert to about 1.8 shares.