By Jonathan Easton
CBS and Viacom have reached an agreement to re-merge the companies after 13 years apart.
According to sources speaking to Reuters, the companies have agreed that Viacom shareholders will receive 0.59625 CBS shares for each share they own. This represents a slight discount to Viacom’s closing price on Friday.
While we await an official confirmation, it is safe to assume that the merger will be announced in the near future.
CBS and Viacom shares slipped 2 per cent and 5 per cent respectively on Monday as reports emerged that the companies’ ongoing merger is soon to reach a conclusion.
Despite failing to hit their initial August 8 deadline, boards of the companies spent the weekend getting closer to deciding on the amount of stock to be exchanged between them.
Deadline reported that sources familiar with the talks suggest a deal is likely to be announced this week. However, the sources had also warned that negotiations could end without a conclusion.
The other main issue for the companies was the management team, though that was reportedly agreed upon last week.
Viacom boss Bob Bakish will head up the new company, while acting CBS CEO Joe Ianniello will be offered a role overseeing all CBS-branded assets. CBS CFO will take the title with her to the new-look company, while the position of current Viacom CFO Wade Davis is up in the air. This is the third time in four years that CBS and Viacom have explored a merger, following failed attempts in 2016 and 2018.-DTVE