The merging of Viacom and CBS Corp. is excellent news, and it has created a content powerhouse of sorts. The merged name will henceforth be known as ViacomCBS, and this is the amalgamation of two different halves of the Redstone family media business. The final merger happened on Wednesday after a waiting period of about four months, when boards of both the companies agreed in the entire stock-swapping transaction. Then the company’s shares, which are combined now, will commence starting trading on Thursday, 5th December, on the NASDAQ index. The ticker symbols, which will be used, are VIACA and VIAC. While the latter ticker symbol is for common shares of the company, the former logo is for preferred and selected shares, the holders of which are mainly the Redstones.
With this merging, Paramount Pictures of Viacom, along with other cable channels like Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, will come together as one with the CBD broadcast network, including 28 O&O TV stations, Showtime, Simon & Schuster and CBS All Access. Post-merger, the company will be headed by Bob Bakish, who is serving as the CEO of Viacom. It is estimated that the company will be able to draw about $28 billion as annual revenue. As expected, Mr. Bakish is very excited and happy with the merger, saying that this was a long process with lots of hurdles. He added that the mega-merger would bring long term value for shareholders of both the entities.
The merger is also kind of a triumph for Shari Redstone. She is the controlling shareholder in Viacom and CBS via National Amusements Inc. holding company. This union was sought by Redstone for long, as her father did so way back in the year 2000. Shari Redstone will preside as chairman of the merged entity ViacomCBS. It is an excellent challenge for Redstone and Bakish so that ViacomCBS works well as an integrated company. All previous issues have to be kept aside, and the companies need to work as one for total success.
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