Mashable, a seven-year-old social media website ranked highly by Nielsen, may soon be acquired by Time Warner Inc.'s (NYSE: TWX) CNN unit for $200 million, reports said.
The buyout would be a major payday for Mashable's Scottish founder, Peter Cashmore, who declined to comment. Reports of the takeover came from a Reuters blogger attending the SXSW media conference in Austin, Texas.
Mashable highlights short news items and technology coverage. It claims as many as 20 million unique monthly visitors.
CNN, if it were to acquire Mashable, would bolster its Internet sites and add a fresh mix of news, technology and entertainment topics to its online presence, as well as access to blog tips.
Last year, CNN acquired Zite, a developer of applications for Apple Inc.'s iPad for an estimated $25 million. Zite's products help determine what customers want to read and view.
Time Warner reported cash and investments exceeding $5.2 billion as of Dec. 31.
Shares of Time Warner fell 37 cents to $36.35 in premarket trading Monday.