AOL buys Bebo for $850MM…did they get a good deal?

March 13, 2008

Lots of talk this morning about AOL buying Bebo for $850MM.  My favorite post was over at Silicon Alley Insider where they made a comparison of the per user cost of Bebo versus other deals.  Here is the snapsot:

News Corp (NWS)/MySpace deal, July 2005: $580 million, or $21.80 for each of the network’s 27 million uniques.

Hi-Media/Fotolog, August 2007: $90 million, or $9 for each of the network’s 10 million members.

Microsoft (MSFT)/Facebook, October 2007: MSFT invests $240 million at a valuation of $15 billion, or $300 for each of the network’s 50 million members.

Everyone knows that News Corp made a steal when they bought MySpace back in 2005.  Could it be AOL (the most unlikely of companies) made a similiar deal for what is essentially the MySpace of the UK? 

 UPDATE:  A couple of numbers show the deal was pretty pricey and caused others to pass:  “Bebo’s revenues for 2006 were only $7 million with $3 million in EBITDA…In 2007, the results are still small, with $20 million in revenues and $5 million in EBITDA. Based on these numbers, AOL (NYSE: TWX) paid a huge 42.5 times revenues and 160 times EBITDA. Even looking at projected numbers (which of course may or may not materialize)–$50 million in revenue and $10 million in EBITDA in 2008; $117 million in revenue and $48 million in revenue in 2009 and $193 million in revenue and $92 million in EBITDA in 2010.”