National Amusements’ Shari Redstone is reportedly planning to let go of CBS CEO Les Moonves if CBS and Viacom can’t come to terms on a remerger plan.
National Amusements controls both CBS and Viacom, and earlier this year it formally kicked off the process to put back together CBS and Viacom, which split up in 2006.
The negotiations have been a bit bumpy so far as the two companies haggle over Viacom’s valuation and the leadership structure for the combined company. According to CNBC, Moonves will be replaced, along with CBS’ board of directors, if a deal can’t be made.
CBS acknowledged the reports in a statement saying Moonves's record speaks for itself.
CBS Corp. says in response to rumblings that Shari Redstone will replace him: “The industry and the marketplace know Leslie Moonves’ record and we think it speaks for itself.”— Joe Flint (@JBFlint) April 11, 2018
CBS is reportedly preparing a new offer for Viacom after the company balked at CBS’ initial deal. Viacom has reportedly asked CBS to sweeten its remerger bid by $2.8 billion, which would amount to about a $2 billion premium over Viacom’s current market value.
According to Reuters, CBS initially offered 0.55 of its shares for each one of Viacom’s class B shares. Viacom countered with a request for 0.68 CBS shares for each class B share.
According to CNBC, CBS’ new offer will also be below the value Viacom is seeking.
In addition to the financial terms for a potential tie-up between CBS and Viacom, the companies are in disagreement over who will run things after the recombination.
Moonves is reportedly in line to remain CEO should CBS and Viacom merge, but Viacom and National Amusements want Viacom CEO Bob Bakish to be chief operating officer for the combined company. Under CBS’ proposal, current CBS COO Joe Ianniello would retain his position within the combined company.