According to the second-largest shareholder in Viacom, after Sumner Redstone, media titan John Malone is making a move to get control of Viacom as the company is caught in a power struggle between Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone, and Vicacom CEO Philippe Dauman.
The New York Post reports that No. 2 shareholder Mario Gabelli said he believes Malone is working on a deal for the company. Malone is a billionaire cable pioneer and the chairman and majority owner of Liberty Media, Liberty Global and Liberty Interactive.
“Malone weighed in on the battle for control of the New York media conglomerate Thursday at Allen & Co.’s exclusive business confab in Sun Valley, saying the company’s assets are undervalued because of all the drama around it,” The Post reports.
Malone commented on Viacom at the gathering, telling reporters: “They’ve got some great assets, and right at the moment because of the turmoil, they’re substantially undervalued. I think they’ll straighten it out.”
Gabelli told The Post: “John Malone has an angle here. He’s clearly sucking up to Shari. He’s a tax strategist. He has something in mind that he’s trying to sell National Amusements Inc.”
National Amusements, owned by Sumner and Shari Redstone, is the parent company of both Viacom and CBS Corp.