Viacom forms special committee to evaluate merger with CBS
MUMBAI: Media conglomerate Viacom has established a special committee of independent directors to evaluate a potential combination with CBS.
The committee has retained independent legal counsel and is retaining independent financial advisors in connection with this evaluation.
Viacom, however, added that there can be no assurance that this process will result in a transaction or on what terms any transaction may occur. Neither Viacom nor the Committee intends to comment further until the process is completed.
The CBS-Viacom combine would have a market value of more than $37 billion. Viacom CEO Bakish is expected to have a senior role at the combined company if the two companies agree to a merger.
In 2016, CBS and Viacom explored and decided against a merger at the urging of its controlling shareholders, ailing 94-year-old media mogul Sumner Redstone and his daughter Shari Redstone. Those merger talks failed due to concerns by CBS’ directors and Moonves over the financial sense for CBS shareholders and governance issues.
A combined company with CBS, which owns cable networks including Showtime as well as the CBS TV Network and CBS TV Studios, and Viacom, whose businesses include Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and MTV, would have more negotiating leverage with cable and satellite companies.