The Redstone family has pulled the plug on talks to merge CBS and Viacom, the two media giants the family controls through its company National Amusements.
In a letter sent out today, Sumner and Shari Redstone said: “Based on our assessments of the strengths, progress and future prospects of both companies, we are requesting that the boards discontinue their discussions at this time and focus instead on their independent paths forward.”
Variety reports: “The maneuver represents an abrupt turnaround by the Redstone family, which has steadily prodded both companies to consider joining anew. The elder Redstone had merged CBS with Viacom in 2000, only to pull them apart six years later. In September, National Amusements formally requested that the boards of both companies consider the possibility of a re-merger on an all-stock basis.”