AllThingsD reports that NewsCorp has agreed to sell Myspace to advertising network Specific Media for $35 million.
Few details were available at press time, only that the deal is in the process of being completed, and that NewsCorp will retain a five or 10 percent stake in the company. Details are still pending, particularly how it will work out for the Myspace Music service.
Reports emerged yesterday that the company would be laying off some 150 staffers today, or around 37% of employees. That came after nearly half of its workforce was let go earlier in January.
Obviously the layoffs are part of a process to make the company more attractive to potential buyers. Kara Swisher at AllThingsD reported that the two front-runners were Specific Media and Golden Gate Capital, a private equity firm. Both were reportedly interested in the Myspace Music joint venture.
That presents a problem for any buyer, which would not automatically get the same music streaming rights as Myspace enjoys today because music licensing deals typically don’t transfer with a sale. But in this case, since the major labels own a portion of Myspace Music, they could negotiate rights transfers along with a sale if that proved to be the key point of interest.
NewsCorp was initially said to be looking for a sale price of around $100 million, although that quickly scaled down dramatically.