Shari Redstone’s long-awaited CBS-Viacom merger is finally set to happen with an agreement looking to be ready to be announced as early as today.
Bloomberg reports that CBS and Viacom board members were negotiating the price of the deal throughout the weekend and late into Sunday night and the current price under discussion would likely value Viacom in the neighborhood of $13 billion. The exchange ratio for the all-stock deal is what’s being discussed and once it’s locked in, the merger is expected to be announced.
Redstone is expected to become chairman while Viacom chief Bob Bakish will serve as CEO. The deal will unite CBS and all its properties with Viacom’s like Paramount Pictures, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and BET. It would cap years of failed merger attempts and board infighting, and as a side bonus will see the reunification of the “Star Trek” franchise which has been split between the TV series at CBS and the films at Paramount.
The merger will enable the combined company to better compete with larger players like Disney and WarnerMedia along with pursuing additional acquisitions with future targets potentially including Sony Pictures and Discovery Communications.