Time Warner On Bebo: Asking Price Was ‘Bit Of A Stretch’


imageimageLooks like Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) CEO Jeff Bewkes might be answering questions about the Bebo deal for awhile. He’s already admitted that AOL might have overpaid for the $850 million social networking site, and at today’s Deutsche Bank Media & Telecom conference, he admitted: “We did make a bit of a stretch.” He also made similar comments at D6, so he’s been on a real Bebo justification tour lately. A shareholder asked how he could explain the deal, when earlier Bewkes had said that disciplined capital allocation was a key priority. His main response was that this was not representative. Still he’s not calling it a mistake (way too early for that) and he pointed out that it was the “same thing when News Corp (NYSE: NWS). bought MySpace,” as the returns were hard to see at first. The monetisation has still been shaky, but News Corp. made investors happy when it inked a $900 million ad deal with Google (NSDQ: GOOG). He also promised that Time Warner has wargamed certain (very optimistic) earnings scenarios that put Bebo’s value at over $1 billion.

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