“Shari Redstone, whose family controls Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp., remains interested in merging the two media companies after a previous attempt faltered in 2016,” Bloomberg reports, citing a source who’s familiar with the situation.
“There are no active talks between the parties, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private information,” Bloomberg notes. “Shares of both companies soared after the media website TheWrap reported Redstone is pursuing a combination of Viacom and CBS.”
Bloomberg adds: “With major competitors such as Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Inc. getting bigger through multibillion-dollar deals, pressure is building on Viacom and CBS to bulk up. CBS’s main business is broadcasting, while Viacom owns popular channels like MTV. Redstone’s family company, National Amusements, [holds] controlling voting stakes in both.”
The report notes that plans to rejoin CBS and Viacom were scrapped in December 2016 after Shari Redstone was persuaded by CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves to let the companies continue to go it alone.