Viacom and CBS stocks rose on Friday after reports that the two companies might re-merge. Viacom’s stock closed up 9.6% to $33.75; CBS was 1.8% higher to $58.83.
The move was being pushed by Shari Redstone, vice chair of Viacom and CBS, and president of the privately held National Amusements that controls both companies, according to The Wrap.
Still, after-hours trading had Viacom’s stock sink 2%, with subsequent reports refuting the initial news. A Bloomberg report says that while Redstone remains interested in a re-merger, no active talks are taking place between Viacom and CBS.
In September 2016, Redstone had pushed for the two companies to re-combine -- only to back down after being persuaded by CBS Chairman Les Moonves to let both companies operate separately.
Viacom and CBS became separate operating companies in 2005. Viacom and CBS initially merged in 1999. Such talk comes amid multiple deals around consolidation of traditional media companies over the last year.
In December 2017, there was an announced $52.4 billion deal by Walt Disney to buy about half of 21st Century Fox -- including its movie/TV studio, entertainment cable networks, regional sports networks, stakes in international TV operations, and its 30% stake in digital video platform Hulu.
In October 2016, AT&T announced an $85 billion deal for Time Warner, which is still under federal regulatory review.