This story was written by Keith Dawson for the Industry Standard's Media Grok email newsletter. It is archived here for informational purposes only because The Standard's site is no more. This material is Copyright 1999-2001 by Standard Media.

CNN, Leisureplanet Travel in Circles
Dec 21 1999 12:00 AM PST

This is one of those complicated Net-media agreements on whose particulars the media can't quite agree. Each story on the deal turned up a few details not covered by the others.

Here are the bare bones: CNN will promote Leisureplanet on its various Web properties over 3 years, a service everyone reported as worth $20 million. Leisureplanet will buy (for cash, as only the Financial Times reported) $30 million worth of advertising on CNN's TV and Web properties during that time. CNN will receive stock equivalent to 20 percent of Leisureplanet over 3 years. Reuters alone reported that CNN gets 10 percent of Leisureplanet immediately.

In a side deal, Leisureplanet will "sponsor" (InternetNews) or "become the exclusive travel booking sponsor of" (Reuters) a new weekly travel show, CNN Hot Spots, which will air next year on CNN International. The FT left out this aspect of the deal.

Two outlets reported on an unrelated $20 million investment in Leisureplanet's parent company, which was also announced yesterday. The FT said the investor is the private-equity arm of the Swiss banking group UBS. Reuters said that Warburg Dillon Read (dossier) is in on the deal alongside UBS, and noted that each investor will emerge with at most 5 percent of Leisureplanet. InternetNews didn't mention this other investment.

Only the FT mentioned the $20 million cash deal that took place earlier this month, in which a French investor secured 27 percent of Leisureplanet.

Most surprisingly, no one mentioned the existing site, or wondered how it would be affected by the Leisureplanet deal. - K.D. Gives CNN Equity for Access
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