CBS, Viacom reportedly set an ‘internal deadline’ for merger
CBS and Viacom are reportedly targeting Aug. 8, 2019 as an internal deadline to reach a merger agreement, reports CNBC.
The two companies having been floating the idea of merger for over a year.
Aug. 8 is also the day both companies are slated to announce second quarter earnings, so it makes some sense that an announcement might come then.
National Amusements is already a controlling shareholder in both companies, so a merger could move quickly, despite the on-again, off-again relationship between the pair.
Viacom is looking for a higher exchange ratio than the 0.6135 one proposed in 2018.
The main reason for this is that Viacom has outperformed CBS.
The 2018 merger deal was ultimately set aside as CBS dealt with sexual harassment scandals that centered on accusations made against CEO Les Moonves, but with Moonves gone, that issue is no longer looming over the boards.
Shari Redstone, who is president of National Amusements and chairwoman of CBS and Viacom, has been barred from personally proposing a merger after settling a lawsuit last year — but the companies themselves can still talk.