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CBS-Viacom Merger Imminent As Side Agreement On Price – Deadline



CBS and Viacom have agreed on a price for their long-awaited merger and plan to formalize the deal with a post-trade announcement today, sources told Deadline.

The "swap ratio" – how many shares in each company will be traded in the all-translation – had been an important factor in the negotiations in recent days. The boards of directors of each company have agreed a ratio of 0.59625 shares in the CBS share for each full share in Viacom. People familiar with the calls confirmed the figure, which was originally reported by Bloomberg and Reuters.

The sources warned that final questions could delay or derail an agreement. To prevent complications, a formal announcement and conference call will be held with investors on Tuesday afternoon.

The share in CBS is almost 3% trading today, while Viacom was more than 1

% as part of a broader market recovery. Shares in both companies had fallen on Monday.

CBS and Viacom representatives declined to comment on the status of the calls.

The reunion plan comes after three years of start-and-stop negotiations. The companies operated under the same roof from 2000-2006.

The agreement is a confirmation of the strategic guidance of Shari Redstone, Chief of National Amusements, the controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom. Redstone has been advocating the merger for several years, though she wound up clashes in court with former CBS CEO Les Moonves, who opposed an agreement about concerns that the company's fate would be tied to the then-decline in Viacom. He also objected to the fact that Viacom CEO Bob Bakish was positioned as the composite unit's second management leader.

Bakish is expected to be appointed head of the merged company. Moonves was removed from CBS in September 2018 amid a welcome of sexual assault allegations from a dozen women.


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