thePlatform Squelches Buyout Rumor

4:35 PM -- If thePlatform Inc. , the Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)-owned media publishing unit, is on the block at all, Kit Digital doesn't have pole position on such a deal and isn't even in discussions about a potential sale, sources close to Comcast tell Light Reading Cable.

And thePlatform itself is confirming about as much, tweeting at about 3 p.m. ET today that "Comcast is not selling thePlatform to Kit Digital." So there.

Comcast, by the way, said it doesn't comment on rumor and speculation.

So, is this just a case of wishful thinking? Hard to say, but someone sure seems to want people to believe that Kit's in position to snap up the company that's playing a key video publishing role in Comcast's TV Everywhere strategy. (See Comcast Invades the iPad and Comcast's TV Everywhere Play Breaks Out of Beta .)

The rumor that Comcast is actively seeking a buyer for thePlatform surfaced today when Frost & Sullivan Principal Analyst Day Rayburn blogged that sources were telling him that Comcast was shopping the company, which the MSO bought in 2006, and that Kit, another firm that manages digital assets, was looking to buy it for a lot less than what Comcast originally paid.

Rayburn notes that Comcast's purchase price for thePlatform was in the neighborhood of $70 million, though we've heard the number was substantially higher than that. He also estimates that the asking price for thePlatform would be between $40 million and $50 million, "which is all Kit can afford to pay."

Still, next to the $70 million figure, if that's even close to what Comcast paid for thePlatform, those numbers don't add up and would be tantamount to a fire sale.

But even the suggestion of a sale raises big questions, like: Why would Comcast be looking to sell a crucial cog of its TVE strategy in the first place?

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:07:55 PM
re: thePlatform Squelches Buyout Rumor

Kit Digital did spend some M&A cash , but not on the thePlatform. It just bought Ioko, another multi-screen video company that has AT&T and BBC among its customers.  JB


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