* News Corp gets about 50 inquiries for MySpace - source
* MocoSpace interested in MySpace
* MocoSpace considered buying Bebo
By Jennifer Saba and Kenneth Li
NEW YORK, Feb 4 News Corp (NWSA.O) has tapped
Allen & Co to field buyout interest for MySpace and has heard
from about 50 parties, people familiar with the process told
Reuters on Friday.
The global media conglomerate is considering a handful of
options for the future of MySpace, the once-hot Internet social
network that has fallen far behind faster moving rival
One source close to the process said an auction for MySpace
has not started yet.
Justin Siegel, chief executive of JNJ Mobile, owner of
MocoSpace, said on Friday he was among the interested parties
to have reached out to News Corp after the media company
signaled it may put MySpace on the block.
Siegel expected to pay up to $200 million for MySpace, but
admitted he was speculating.
"I would be willing to hazard a guess the price is between
$50 million to $200 million," Siegel said in an interview.
"They have not circulated the sales package yet."
MocoSpace said last November that Mark Jung, a former chief
operating officer of News Corp's Fox Interactive Media, the
division that includes MySpace, joined MocoSpace's board.
News Corp declined to comment.
Siegel, who co-founded the mobile social network MocoSpace,
said he was also once interested in purchasing Bebo, another
once hot Internet social network left in the dust by rivals.
"We would've bought it if we had known what AOL was selling
it for," Siegel said. "We heard a rumor AOL was looking for
$200 million. In reality they sold it for $10 million.
"If I had known that ... I would have shown up with a
suitcase full of cash."
News Corp acquired MySpace in 2005 for $580 million after
News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch famously swooped in to
beat rivals such as Viacom Inc VIAb.N in the bidding. But
since then, the website has become increasingly irrelevant as a
social network for many users who have migrated to Facebook.
In January, MySpace cut half of its staff -- affecting
about 500 employees -- setting the stage for a sale of the
former Internet social networking leader.
News Corp said on Wednesday that the division that operates
MySpace reported a second quarter operating loss of $156
million due in part to lower search and advertising revenues at
SoftBank Capital and General Catalyst Partners are
investors in MocoSpace. Bloomberg first reported MocoSpace's
(Reporting by Jennifer Saba and Kenneth Li; editing by Tim
Dobbyn and Andre Grenon)