CBS, Viacom agree to $30 billion merger
Once under the same corporate umbrella, CBS and Viacom are pairing up again to tackle a stormy landscape in the media industry — one riled with challenges of appealing to millennial audiences and new devices.
The deal, which has CBS acquiring Viacom, will result in the new company called ViacomCBS.
In total, the acquisition is valued at about $30 billion.
CBS and Viacom were part of the same company from 1999 to 2005.
Since then, CBS stock has more than doubled in value, while Viacom’s stock hasn’t moved much.
CBS and Viacom are both majority owned by privately held National Amusements, which in turn, is controlled by Shari Redstone.
Redstone is currently president of National Amusements and vice chair of both CBS and Viacom.
She will become chair of the newly formed company, making her one of the most powerful people in the industry.
The merger comes during a time ever-growing media conglomerates as well as a changing industry caught up in challenges in advertising, streaming battles and changing media consumption.
$30 billion, while a substantial value, still doesn’t compare to the $245 billion in cash Apple has on hand — or a world in which Netflix spends $15 billion on new product development.
Disney, meanwhile, is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $130 billion.
ViacomCBS could grow further through post-merger acquisitions.