Media giant Viacom and Internet sports content and e-commerce provider SportsLine.com announced today that they have signed an agreement for SportsLine.com to merge with a subsidiary of Viacom.
Under the deal, holders of common stock of SportsLine.com will be entitled to US$1.75 per share in cash upon closing of the transaction, the companies said. The merger is subject to approval by SportsLine.com’s shareholders. If approved by shareholders, it is expected to be completed by the end of the year, the companies said. Viacom currently holds approximately 38 percent of the total outstanding shares of SportsLine.com’s common stock.
SportsLine.com has been publisher of CBS SportsLine.com and the official Web sites of the NFL, PGA TOUR and NCAA Sports. Viacom owns CBS.
“We’ve enjoyed a collaborative relationship with SportsLine dating back to 1997, and this acquisition complements our strategy of expanding Viacom’s presence in what has become the fastest growing advertising sector,” Leslie Moonves, co-president and co-chief operating officer of Viacom, said.
CBS Sports President Sean McManus added, “The ability to integrate SportsLine’s rich content with CBS Sports’ stable of industry-leading franchises like the NFL, the Final Four, US Open Tennis and the PGA Tour presents tremendous possibilities for our advertisers and consumers now and into the future.”
SportsLine.com founder, Chairman and CEO Michael Levy said, “This transaction provides SportsLine with outstanding potential to grow as part of a multibillion dollar global media company.”
Levy explained, “We spent more than 10 years nurturing this company’s growth from its formation, and going forward, we feel that this merger presents a great outcome for our shareholders, employees and users.”
A special committee of SportsLine.com’s Board of Directors, formed to evaluate strategic alternatives for the company, has recommended that SportsLine.com’s shareholders approve the transaction.
SportsLine.com will file a proxy statement and SportsLine.com and Viacom will file other documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning the proposed merger transaction.
Viacom is a leading global media company, with major positions in broadcast and cable television, radio, outdoor advertising, and online. The company creates, promotes, and distributes entertainment, news, sports, music and comedy. Viacom’s brands include CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, VH1, BET, Paramount Pictures, Infinity Broadcasting, Viacom Outdoor, UPN, TV Land, Comedy Central, CMT: Country Music Television, Spike TV, Showtime, Blockbuster, and Simon & Schuster.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based SportsLine.com provides Internet sports content, community and e-commerce. The company is a comprehensive sports information source, containing multimedia sports news, information, entertainment and merchandise.
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