News of a looming settlement in the battle for control of Viacom appears to be pushing the company’s stock value higher.
“The media conglomerate’s shares rose 2.1 percent Wednesday, to $43.74, on renewed speculation that settlement talks between controlling shareholders and Chief Executive Philippe Dauman will result in his ouster,” The New York Post reports. “The shareholders, Sumner Redstone and his daughter, Shari, who control 80 percent of the entertainment giant’s votes through the family-owned National Amusements Inc., have been pressing to oust Dauman from the family trust and the Viacom board.”
Dauman is reportedly in line to pocket $94 million if he loses his job. But The Post notes that Dauman and board member George Abrams have pushed back, filing lawsuits in Massachusetts and Delaware.
“Dauman and Abrams claim Sumner, 93 and in ill health, doesn’t have the ability to make corporate decisions and that Shari, taking advantage of her dad, is trying to pirate his $40 billion media empire — which includes CBS,” the story reports.
The Post adds: “What hasn’t been pointed out until now is that Dauman’s payout includes the second-biggest cash component — $72 million — among all S&P 500 CEOs, according to Bloomberg News, which calculated the payoff based on the stock price as of last Sept. 30.”