Bewkes on Bebo: Well, That Was $850 Million Well Spent … Maybe
We just want you to know that as we assess our capital allocation options, we will continue to adhere to the disciplined framework that I just outlined.”
Disciplined capital allocation is a key priority for Time Warner (TWX). That said, the company “may have overpaid” for Bebo, the social-networking site it acquired for $850 million in cash back in March. So said Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes in an interview with Portfolio.
Portfolio: And if you had to do it all over again … would you pay $850 million for Bebo?
Jeff Bewkes: Maybe. I’ll tell you why I can’t give you an answer. Because when you’re doing an acquisition in an auction, the core purpose of the auction is to try to get as much buyer and competing interest. When you look back at it, you then have to reveal–which I can’t to you–what I know about the other bidders. And you learn more of it after than before. The reason we said–when we kept being pressed by people, when they said “did you overpay or not?” we said we don’t know–is if our plans work out, we did not overpay. But then somebody says it’s compared to what you could’ve paid. If our plans work out less well than we thought, we would have overpaid by a few hundred million dollars. I’m not sitting here now–I don’t know if that’s the case–under a high case, we’ve actually made a lot of money on it. So it’s really too early to say. It’s kind of like saying, did Google (GOOG) overpay for YouTube? What was that number–$1.6 billion? They haven’t monetized that yet