The merger between CBS and Viacom is on.
Boards of both companies agreed yesterday to an all-stock merger, creating a new company called ViacomCBS worth around $28bn in revenue.
The combined company will possess a powerful portfolio of brands, including CBS, Showtime, Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central and the Paramount Network, along with the IP each holds the rights to, as diverse as Star Trek to Garfield, SpongeBob to Mission Impossible.
Bob Bakish, president and Chief Executive Officer, Viacom, will become president and Chief Executive Officer of the combined company, while CBS boss Joe Ianniello will become Chairman and CEO of CBS, overseeing all CBS-branded assets.
“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,” Bob says.
“Our unique ability to produce premium and popular content for global audiences at scale – for our own platforms and for our partners around the world – will enable us to maximise our business for today, while positioning us to lead for years to come. As we look to the future, I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities ahead for the combined company.”
The merger reunites the two media giants originally separated in 2006 by owner Sumner Redstone. Originally the plan was to leverage the strengths of both companies at a time when Viacom owned many of the world’s biggest TV shows and CBS was not keeping pace.
Previous attempts to recombine the companies failed under squabbling boards and the scandal of former CBS chief Leslie Moonves, ousted last year amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
Shari Redstone, Vice Chair of the Boards of Directors, CBS and Viacom, says: “I am really excited to see these two great companies come together so that they can realize the incredible power of their combined assets. My father once said ‘content is king,’ and never has that been more true than today. Through CBS and Viacom’s shared passion for premium content and innovation, we will establish a world-class, multiplatform media organisation that is well-positioned for growth in a rapidly transforming industry.”