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Home / Business / CBS and Viacom team up to make a deal that marks the rise of Shari Redstone

CBS and Viacom team up to make a deal that marks the rise of Shari Redstone



After more than a decade, CBS and Viacom agreed to reach an agreement on Tuesday to bring together a number of once-powerful media companies. Viacom's Paramount film studios and the MTV and Nickelodeon cable networks will be added to CBS and Simon & Schuster.

Robert M. Bakish, CEO of Viacom, will lead the combined company named ViacomCBS Joseph Ianniello, acting CEO of CBS, will continue to head a newly appointed CBS entity, according to the executives of both companies.

The combination of CBS and Viacom is a victory for Shari Redstone, the leader of a family-owned business that controls both. She had pressed for a deal for at least three years, but met with fierce opposition from the CBS Board of Directors, including former CEO Leslie Moonves. Mr. Moonves was driven out last September after several women had charged him with sexual assault. He has denied the allegations. Ms Redstone will be chairwoman of the combined company.

The two companies were once a single unit, called Viacom, until they were split in 2006. Their reunion was considered necessary at a time when the audience on television had eroded. Tech platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Netflix have cut back on major media, taking part in the once-such-high profits that companies such as CBS and Viacom have made to CBS, the aging outsider. Destiny was reversed in the last decade when CBS became the most watched TV channel and Viacom's youth-focused channels were excluded from the Internet.

The deal is also the last in the current wave of big media mergers. Two transactions totaling more than $ 150 billion were completed last year. AT & T acquired $ 80 billion in Time Warner. Shortly thereafter, the Walt Disney Company beat rival Comcast to win the majority of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox business for $ 71.3 billion.

The merger is a so-called share swap From Monday closing price. Under the swap, an investor with 1,000 Viacom shares would receive 596.25 CBS shares. In fact, CBS shareholders will own around 60 percent of the combined business. The business does not include cash, which makes it a tax-free transaction. The shares of both companies rose on Tuesday.

This is an evolving story and is updated.


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