In the shadows of the huge proposed mega-merger between AT&T and Time Warner, a much quieter merger between Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. continues to inch forward with the New York Post saying such a move could happen as early as Thanksgiving.
The merger would re-unite the two companies, which separated in 2006, despite both maintaining Sumner Redstone’s company, National Amusements, as their majority owner.
Bringing the two companies back together also means reunited the Star Trek property, which was split with Viacom’s Paramount Pictures getting the film side of the franchise, while CBS kept the rest. Trek has been about the only highlight for Paramount in recent years, which right now has less than 7 percent of the total market share with just under $600 million through 13 movie releases this year.
Viacom has struggled financially in recent years, led primarily by troubles at Paramount. On the other hand, CBS has fared quite well with its television assets, including its high-rated network. Investors in Viacom have welcomed the merger, while some on the CBS side have shared their disapproval.
If the deal goes through, it won’t be for the more than $80 billion like the AT&T deal. Instead, it would most likely be an all-stock deal, completely at market value. The two companies are currently worth $41.7 billion, according to stock value as of Friday, with CBS far more valuable at $25.7 billion.
Viacom owns a number of television and film properties, including Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and TV Land. CBS has focused primarily on television with CBS and the premium cable channel Showtime. It also owns book publishers, like Simon & Schuster.
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