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. As the report points out, the ball is back in CBS’s court for the next stage of the negotiations.
Per CBS’s first offer, Viacom would be valued at around $11.9 billion. Under Viacom’s counter, the valuation would rise to $14.7 billion. Viacom’s market cap currently sits around $12.7 billion.
In addition to haggling over price, CBS and Viacom are still at odds over the leadership structure of the combined company. Viacom has reportedly requested that CEO Bob Bakish be installed as president and chief operating officer of the combined company and National Amusements, which controls both CBS and Viacom, is supportive of the request. Under CBS’s proposal, current CBS COO Joe Ianniello would retain his position within the combined company.
Both companies agree about CBS CEO Les Moonves leading the combined company.
CBS and Viacom officially split in 2006 and in 2016 were seriously exploring a remerger until deciding to allow Viacom more time to rebound under Bakish.
The new deal talks, which would combine CBS’s TV network with Viacom’s cable channels including MTV and Comedy Central, along with Paramount.
According to Bloomberg, details of the initial proposal won’t be made public, but both CBS and Viacom are hoping to have a final deal in place before they report quarterly results in May. According to The Wall Street Journal, Viacom’s valuation was what caused remerger efforts with CBS to go off the rails in 2016.