National Amusements Kills Viacom, CBS Merger: Stocks Fall

Shares of both Viacom and CBS received some heavy early Monday declines in the wake of controlling shareholder National Amusements withdrawing its support to merge the two companies.

Viacom was down 7% to $36.24 and CBS off 3% to $60.98.

CNBC reported that Shari Redstone, vice-chair of both companies and president of National Amusements, withdrew her support.

In a statement, National Amusements said: “Over the past few months, after careful assessment and meetings with the leadership of both companies, we have concluded that this is not the right time to merge the companies.”

“Based on our assessment of the strengths, progress, and future prospects of both companies, we are requesting the boards discontinue their discussions at this time and focus instead on their independent paths forward.”

National Amusements separated CBS and Viacom 11 years ago in an attempt to garner more stock market value for each. National Amusements holds about 80% of the voting common stock in both Viacom and CBS.



The statement singled out Viacom as one main issue for the potential re-merger of the companies.

“We know Viacom has tremendous assets that are currently undervalued, and we are confident that with this new strong management team, the value of these assets can be unleashed.

"At the same time, CBS continues to perform exceptionally well under Les Moonves [chairman/chief executive officer], and we have every reason to believe that momentum will continue on a standalone basis.”

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