Media giants Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp., which split off from each other 10 years ago, may be headed for a reunion. Reuters is reporting that Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements Inc., which controls both companies, is poised to call on the companies to explore a merger.
The report cites two sources who are familiar with the situation.
“NAI may contact the two companies as early as this week to ask them to form independent board committees to explore a combination, one of the people said,” Reuters reports. “The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Representatives for NAI, Viacom and CBS declined to comment.”
National Amusements owns 80% of the voting shares of Viacom and CBS.
“Viacom shares jumped as much as 5 percent on the news and were trading up 1.4 percent at $35.96 in New York, giving the company a market value of $14.5 billion,” Reuters notes. “CBS shares were flat, hovering around $52.22, giving the company a market capitalization of $23.2 billion.”
CBS CEO Leslie Moonves has been mentioned as a likely candidate to step up to lead the combined company.