Media magnate Sumner Redstone, who along with his family is the majority owner in CBS Corp. and Viacom, sold more than $200 million worth of stock in the companies during May, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The sales allowed Redstone to pocket about $236 million from exercising options and selling the underlying shares. In 2014 alone, he has raised more than $300 million from stock sales, including the recent cash-out, the piece reports.
“Mr. Redstone, who serves as executive chairman at both companies, has been clearing up his estate to take advantage of tax benefits, say people familiar with the situation,” the story reports.
The report adds: “He also has made a number of philanthropic commitments that need to be met, including pledges to George Washington University, Harvard Law School, which he attended, and Boston University School of Law, where he once taught.”
Redstone, who turns 91 today (Tuesday, May 27, 2014), isn’t traveling much now, and his mobility is “challenged,” the story adds.
“On earnings calls, his statements are brief and sometimes hard to decipher,” the article notes. “At the CBS annual meeting in Los Angeles on Thursday, a curtain was pulled back to reveal Mr. Redstone already seated at a table alongside other executives on the stage.”
The story adds: “In a strong but slurred voice, he welcomed the crowd and introduced CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, whom he referred to as ‘a super genius.’ As soon as the meeting — held at the studio where ‘The Price is Right’ is taped — was adjourned, the curtain was drawn again.”