NEW YORK -- CBS (NYSE: CBS.A, CBS) and Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), two of the world’s leading entertainment companies, today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine in an all-stock merger,creating a combined company with more than $28 billion in revenue.
The combined company, ViacomCBS Inc., will be a leading global, multiplatform, premium content company, with the assets, capabilities and scale to be one of the most important content producers and providers in the world. The combined company will be a scale player globally, with leadership positions in markets across the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia. This includes the largest television business in the U.S., with the highest share of broadcast and cable viewing across all key audience demographics, and strength in every key category, including News, Sports, General Entertainment, Pop Culture, Comedy, Music and Kids – making it a first-choice partner to distributors and advertisers.
In addition, the combined company will possess a portfolio of fast-growing direct-to-consumer platforms, including both subscription and ad-supported offerings.
It will also include a major Hollywood film studio, Paramount Pictures, which has been a producer and global distributor of filmed entertainment for more than a century and continues to be a global box office driver.
Bob Bakish, President and Chief Executive Officer, Viacom, will become President and Chief Executive Officer of the combined company.
Joe Ianniello, President and Acting Chief Executive Officer, CBS, will become Chairman and CEO of CBS.
The merger agreement was approved by the Boards of Directors of both CBS and Viacom by unanimous vote of those present, upon the unanimous recommendations of the Special Committees of the CBS and Viacom Boards of Directors, respectively. Existing CBS shareholders will own approximately 61% of the combined company and existing Viacom shareholders will own approximately 39% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. It is expected to close by the 2019 calendar year end.