CBS and Viacom, After 12 Years Apart, Again Explore Deal to Recombine


For the second time in less than two years, CBS and Viacom are exploring a reunion after splitting up in 2006, and many analysts are seeing positives coming out of a potential deal.

Viacom and CBS are once again formally dating - with exploratory boards created at both companies to look into a merger.

CBS and Viacom studies a combination a year ago but decided not to move forward.

However, the companies cautioned investors that no assurance can be given that a transaction between the two will occur, and the independent boards and shareholders of both companies' would have to approve the deal.

According to commentators, though the companies' merger talks were called off in 2016, the media landscape has evolved dramatically since then, with the proposed mega-mergers of AT&T and Time Warner and Disney and Fox.

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He then went on to acquire CBS in 2000 in a almost $40 billion deal. The Redstone family company National Amusements Inc., based in Norwood, Mass., holds roughly 80 percent voting stakes in both CBS and Viacom.

National Amusements, the Redstone holding company released a statement saying it " supports the processes announced by CBS and Viacom to evaluate a combination of the two companies, which we believe has the potential to drive significant, long-term shareholder value.

No comment will be made further by either Viacom or CBS until the committee until the process is completed. As of Thursday, Viacom had a market cap of $13.6 billion, with shares closing at $33.21.

Viacom's interests include MTV, VH1, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures.

Broadcast network business CBS has since had a prolonged period of growth and increased profitability under CEO Les Moonves, while Viacom saw its share price disintegrate under former chairman and CEO Phillippe Dauman.