After years of on-and-off talks, Viacom and CBS have finally reached a merger deal creating a new company that will be called ViacomCBS.
The company born out of the merger will see Viacom’s Bob Bakish as the CEO of the combined company while Joe Ianiello, who was serving as CEO since last year, will be the chairman of CBS and will be in charge of CBS assets after the merger.
As part of the deal, a 61-39 shareholder division will be observed where existing shareholders of CBS will own 61% of the new company while Viacom shareholders, who will earn .59625 shares of CBS shares, will own 39% of ViacomCBS.
The merger marks the reunification of the two companies owned controlled by Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements, where Viacom spun off CBS in 2006. The daughter of the company’s patriarch, Shari, has long been working on reuniting the two companies in a bid to compete in the more vigorous market competition where competitors like Disney, Comcast, and AT&T have been scoring megadeals to gain momentum in the corporate environment.
The merger will add movie studio Paramount Pictures, cable networks such as Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and BET, and other assets including the streaming service Pluto TV and South Park Studios to CBS, which owns the eponymous broadcast network, Showtime, and other assets. The merger will also help the companies compete with Netflix, Amazon, and other legacy media companies on spending.
“I am really excited to see these two great companies come together so that they can realize the incredible power of their combined assets,” Redstone said in the statement. “My father once said, ‘content is king,’ and never has that been truer than today.”
The companies estimate $500 million in annualized run-rate synergies within 12 to 24 months.