Despite summer denials to the contrary, Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements plans to sell nearly $1 billion worth of shares in Viacom and CBS to pay down debt, the New York Times reports.
Some $500 million in debt is due at the end of the month. Total debt is about $1.5 billion. National Amusements said it will retain control of the two companies, with about 75 percent of each company’s voting stock, down from about 81 percent.
National Amusements will sell its entire amount of Viacom and CBS common shares, which, in total come to about 40 million shares, the report says.
According to the report, an alternative to selling the stock would have been to sell movie theaters, but no deals were worked out to do so.