Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. have landed on Wednesday of next week (Dec. 4) as the closing date for their upcoming merger.
The US$30 billion deal’s closing date was narrowed down following earlier statements that it would close by the end of the year, and last month’s announcement of a close in “early December.”
The merger agreement was first reached by the two companies in August and unites the companies’ portfolio of brands — including CBS, Showtime, Nickelodean, MTV, BET, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures — for the first time since Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements split the media giants in 2006.
National Amusements, which holds the majority of voting shares for Viacom and CBS, approved the pending merger last month. Once customary closing conditions are reached and the merger occurs, CBS will delist its shares from the New York Stock Exchange and will list shares under the new corporate entity, ViacomCBS, which will trade on the NASDAQ stock market under the symbols VIACA and VIAC starting Dec. 5.
Bob Bakish (pictured left), Viacom president and CEO, will helm the newly formed company, while CBS president and acting CEO Joe Ianniello (right) will become chairman and CEO of CBS. Shari Redstone, National Amusements’ president, will be chair of the merged entity.
(With files from Jillian Morgan)