In High-Stakes Power Play, CBS Sues Its Majority Owner to Block Merger With Viacom

May 14, 2018  •  Post A Comment

The situation surrounding the possible merger of Viacom and CBS Corp. is generating some friction among the top brass — especially between Leslie Moonves and Shari Redstone — if a new lawsuit filed by CBS is any indication.

“In a move that escalates an internal battle for control, CBS has filed a lawsuit in Delaware Chancery Court against Shari Redstone, Sumner Redstone and National Amusements, Inc., currently the controlling stakeholder for CBS,” The Hollywood Reporter’s THR, Esq., reports. “The Redstones have made it clear they would like to see CBS merge with Viacom. The Redstones hold Class A common stock in CBS, which means they currently have the voting power over other public shareholders who maintain Class B common stock.”

The report adds: “But CBS, led by its chairman Leslie Moonves, has decided to put up a fight with a high-stakes gambit that could forever change authority at CBS by shifting power from the Redstones to public shareholders. Although NAI holds voting power in CBS, it only owns just over 10 percent of the economic interest in CBS. Those public shareholders with Class B stock own the rest.”

THR also reports this nugget: “A committee of independent directors at CBS has called for a meeting May 17 with the intention of issuing a dividend that would dilute the Redstones’ NRI voting interest in CBS from approximately 79 to 17 percent. With the expectation that the Redstones may attempt to interfere with the planned meeting, CBS in a preemptive measure is demanding a temporary restraining order from a Delaware judge.”

We encourage readers to click on the link above to THR to read the publication’s full report.

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