CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. are going ahead on their long-frustrated merger, combining forces for a stronger foothold in a rapidly evolving market. If completed, the all-stock deal will reunify Sumner Redstone’s media empire after the 2006 split, create a major entertainment powerhouse worth roughly $30 billion, and bring major brands like Nickelodeon, Paramount, MTV, Comedy Central, CBS network and Showtime under one roof.
The combined companies will have a better shot at holding ground against the media megaliths Walt Disney Company (Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Fox, Hulu), valued at $224.5B; Comcast (NBCUniversal, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination Ent., Amblin, Syfy), $193B; AT&T (WarnerMedia; Warner Bros., Cartoon Network, HBO, Ellation [Rooster Teeth, Crunchyroll, VRV]), $251.9B; and Netflix, $135.1B.
The merger would create a unified TV property boasting one of the highest viewership shares, amounting to 15% according to combined numbers from Nielsen, Kagan, S&P Global Market Intelligence and Wall Street Journal reports.
Redstone’s daughter Shari Redstone, currently vice chair of both companies, will become chair of ViacomCBS. The Redstone family holding company National Amusements Inc. controls CBS and Viacom.
Bob Bakish, currently Chief Executive Officer of Viacom, will be CEO of the merged companies. CBS Acting Chief Executive Joe Ianniello would become chairman and CEO of CBS, managing those assets.
The deal values Viacom at about $11.8B; shareholders will receive 0.59625 CBS share for each share they own. CBS will receive six seats on the 13-member board and Viacom will get four. National Amusements will get two board seats. Bakish will also get a board seat.
[Source: The Wallstreet Journal]