Viacom, CBS agree to all-stock merger deal

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Aug. 13 (UPI) — Media companies Viacom and CBS agreed to a merger on Tuesday, combining their entertainment assets.

The companies will combine in an all-stock merger and be known as Viacom CBS Inc., with Viacom president and CEO Bob Bakish set to serve as president and CEO of the newly formed company and CBS CEO Joe Ianiello will become the chairman of CBS and remain in charge of CBS assets.

As a result of the merger, existing CBS shareholders will own approximately 61 percent of the combined company and existing Viacom shareholders will own about 39 percent of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.

The combined company will include cable networks Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and BET, the premium channel Showtime, as well as the Paramount Pictures movie studio.

“Today marks an important day for CBS and Viacom, as we unite our complementary assets and capabilities and become one of only a few companies with the breadth and depth of content and reach to shape the future of our industry,” Bakish said in a statement.

ViacomCBS will look to “accelerate” plans for its streaming services including CBS All Access and Showtime following the merger, the company said.

In total, the combined company has more than 750 series ordered or in production and has spent $ 13 billion in the last year.

CBS and Viacom previously had merged in 1999, but split off into separate companies again in 2006.

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