Viacom-CBS deal nears finish line

Expect the Viacom-CBS merger to become final in "early December." after National Amusement late Monday voted to approve the deal. National Amusements is the Redstone family's holding company that controls a majority of CBS and Viacom stock.

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According to the announcement by both parties, the final results of consent solicitations will be "set forth in the companies’ separate Current Reports on Form 8-K that will be filed with the SEC." Those postings are expected within the coming days.

VIACOMCBS EYES HOLLYWOOD PLAYERS, CABLE CHANNELS

When the deal closes in December, the combined media brands will be housed under the name ViacomCBS Inc. CBS will delist its shares from the New York Stock Exchange, with the new company, will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbols "VIAC" and "VIACA for the Class A and Class B common stock.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CBSCBS CORP.38.77-0.61-1.55%
VIAVIACOM INC.26.36-0.37-1.38%
VIABVIACOM INC.23.16-0.40-1.68%

This merger brings both communications companies full circle -- for a second time. Viacom began its media life as CBS Films in 1952 and served as the syndication division of the CBS broadcast network. Sixteen years later it was renamed CBS Enterprises and was re-christened again in 1970 as Viacom (which was an acronym of Video & Audio Communications). In 1971, CBS and Viacom split for the first time due to the FCC's creation of the Financial Interest and Syndication Rules which prevented CBS, ABC and NBC from owning any of the programming they aired or selling any programs where any of the networks had a financial stake. Those rules were abolished in 1993.

SHARI REDSTONE POISED TO BE QUEEN OF ALL MEDIA

Seven years after the removal of the "Fin-Syn" rules, CBS and Viacom re-united. But in 2006, National Amusements CEO Sumner Redstone and the longtime force behind Viacom (National Amusements bought Viacom in 1986) decided to spin-off CBS effectively reversing the merger.

Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone, will be board chair of ViacomCBS once the merger is completed and Bob Bakish, Viacom's current chief, will be the CEO of the combined companies.

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