David Nevins, chief creative officer of CBS and chairman-CEO of Showtime Networks says that leaders of the two companies are looking for opportunities to create a “virtuous ecosystem” for content that can prosper across the various platforms of the two companies.
Media analysts and the entertainment industry aren’t the only ones paying attention to the recent CBS-Viacom merger. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, a current frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, has weighed in on the merger, Tweeting that the Department of Justice “should be paying close attention.”
Combining TV programming like NCIS, The Daily Show and Billions under one company isn’t enough in 2019 to compete with other big media companies.
Viacom CEO Bob Bakish will become CEO of the combined company, ViacomCBS. Acting CBS CEO Joe Ianniello will become chairman and CEO of the CBS division. The deal is an all-stock transaction. The companies say the combined company will have $28 billion in revenue.
CBS and Viacom are inching closer to a deal that would join the onetime siblings after a three-year dance. But whether the reunion will solve their problems or simply kick them down the road remains one of the media world’s biggest questions.
As media giants gird for battle with Netflix and Amazon, CBS and Viacom continue to pursue marginally more patient streaming strategies, gaining steady ground without spending their way into trouble. Now, as the companies prepare finally to consummate a merger that has been many years in the making, they stand to become a bulked-up media player with arguably the industry’s most diversified streaming portfolio.
Board members of CBS and Viacom worked most of the weekend in an effort to reach a long-awaited merger agreement for the two halves of the Redstone media empire. Sources close to the situation said the sides have made progress since Friday in hashing out some of the final details in the tie-up between the media conglomerates that are both controlled by the Redstone family’s National Amusements holding company. An agreement in principle could be announced as early as today.
CBS and Viacom reported earnings on Thursday — and refused to discuss what everyone wanted to know: the status of their merger plans. Despite the dearth of details, sources with direct knowledge of the deal said the merger could be announced within days. Holding up the process are negotiations over the exchange ratio, or the number of new shares that will be given to shareholders of a company that is being acquired — in this case, Viacom, they said.
CBS and Viacom continue to bob along with merger talks and are now circling Aug. 8 as an internal deadline to agree to a deal, according to people familiar with the matter. While a transaction could be announced sooner — or later — than that, CBS and Viacom happen to share Aug. 8 as the day both companies report second-quarter earnings. That makes it a natural goal post for a merger that’s been speculated about for more than a year, the people said.
Viacom is awaiting a response from CBS to the acquisition counteroffer that Viacom submitted last week. CBS executives and bankers were said to be huddling Wednesday and Thursday to hammer out a new offer. Details are still sketchy but it’s believed that CBS will raise the valuation of Viacom up from its opening March 30 offer, which came in around $12 billion. CBS is not expected to budge on the issue of keeping CBS chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves’ current top executive team intact.
Leslie Moonves is open to merging CBS and Viacom — on his terms — but Shari Redstone, eager for power, may be ready to sacrifice Hollywood’s most celebrated exec to chart her own path.
As she seeks to combine CBS and Viacom into a single company again, media mogul Shari Redstone risks losing her most talented executive, whose leadership could be critical to ensuring the proposed merger succeeds. Her long-time friend and business ally, powerful CBS chief executive Les Moonves, has emerged as one of the biggest obstacles to a potential CBS-Viacom tie-up, according to people familiar with the matter.
Merger talks between CBS and Viacom will likely result in a deal — despite thorny negotiations over price and whether CBS boss Les Moonves will get to name his own No. 2 exec at the merged company, sources say. But while the $2.8 billion gulf between the two looks wide, one source close to the talks expects a deal to happen somewhere close to the middle, although no announcement is expected this week.
Viacom Inc. has asked CBS Corp. to sweeten its merger bid by about $2.8 billion or almost a quarter more than CBS’s offer, people familiar with the matter say, indicating the wide gap in the U.S. media firms’ price expectations.
Viacom Inc. is preparing a counterproposal to CBS Corp.’s first share exchange offer of 0.55 CBS share for every Viacom share, which Viacom found to be inadequate, people familiar with the matter said today.
Viacom has rejected CBS’s initial acquisition offer, a source close to the company has confirmed. The all-stock offer to bring the companies back together was understood to be below Viacom’s market value, which is a departure from the way most acquiring companies typically start the process.
CBS Corp. plans to make an all-stock offer for Viacom Inc that values the U.S. media company below its current market valuation, people familiar with the matter said on Monday, indicating that tough negotiations lie ahead. It is unusual for deal negotiations to start with the acquirer valuing its target at a discount. The fact that CBS’s first bid for Viacom infers such a valuation reflects how CBS views its position in the U.S. media landscape as superior to Viacom’s.
CBS Corp. is preparing to make an initial merger proposal to Viacom Inc. within days, people with knowledge of the matter said, setting the stage for negotiations that could bring the media companies back together 12 years after they were split up. The proposal, from CBS’s independent board committee to its counterpart at Viacom, is likely to include an opening suggestion on valuation as well as leadership plans for the combined entity, the people said.
Board members from CBS Corp. and Viacom are expected to meet as soon as this week to begin discussions on the valuations of both companies for a possible merger. Executives at both media companies have been hip-deep in crunching numbers and preparing financial data to guide the discussions between the members of the special committees assembled to consider options for a CBS-Viacom reunion.
Despite CBS’s relatively upbeat fourth-quarter results last week, the broadcaster’s stock slipped 2.4% on Friday, to $55.39. In fact, shares are down 5.8% since they initially popped on Jan. 12 on the first reports that it and Viacom were again talking merger.
As CBS and Viacom dance around each other like teenagers at a ball, the U.S. implications of a merger have been widely covered. However, as the two consider rebuilding the House of Sumner over the next couple of months, one of the most interesting aspects is the growing power of their international business.
CBS and Viacom today announced that their respective boards of directors have established special committees to evaluate a potential combination. Both note that there can be no assurance that this process will result in a transaction or on what terms any transaction may occur.
CBS Corp.’s board is expected to discuss a merger with Viacom Inc. on Thursday, sources tell Reuters, a move that could begin a formal process to reunite the companies split by controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone more than a decade ago. The board will need to decide if the deal is now attractive enough to CBS shareholders to overshadow concerns that scuttled a proposed tie-up pushed by Redstone and his daughter Shari Redstone in 2016.