CBS, Viacom Strike Deal To Recombine

Viacom and CBS have struck a deal for a merger on Tuesday with an agreement to recombine in the latest entertainment industry mega-deal. From a report: As expected, Viacom CEO Bob Bakish will lead the combined company as CEO, while CBS acting CEO Joe Ianniello will also remain in a top executive position that will have him oversee CBS-branded assets. CBS CFO Christina Spade will serve as CFO of the merged firm. Shari Redstone, vice chair of both companies, will serve as chair of the combined company. The companies had previously agreed on the management setup and the composition of the board of the merged company, with the stock exchange ratio for the deal being the final haggling point that was finally resolved early in the week. The boards of both companies have approved the deal.

Consolidation to gain more scale amid competition from streaming video and technology giants has been a key focus for the entertainment sector in recent years. The CBS-Viacom deal agreement comes after Walt Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of large parts of 21st Century Fox and AT&T’s $85 billion takeover of Time Warner. CBS is also understood to have offered Lionsgate $5 billion to buy its premium TV unit Starz.

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