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    VIAC   US92556H2067

VIACOMCBS INC.

(VIAC)
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Viacom preparing counterproposal to CBS offer - sources

04/04/2018 | 11:25am EDT
The Viacom logo is displayed on the doors of a building in midtown Manhattan in New York

(Reuters) - Viacom Inc (>> Viacom) is preparing a counterproposal to CBS Corp's (>> CBS Corporation) first share exchange offer of 0.55 CBS share for every Viacom share, which Viacom found to be inadequate, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

(Reuters) - Viacom Inc is preparing a counterproposal to CBS Corp's (>> CBS Corporation) first share exchange offer of 0.55 CBS share for every Viacom share, which Viacom found to be inadequate, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The CBS offer, which was communicated verbally last Friday, valued Viacom at below its market value of around $12.5 billion (8.92 billion pounds), according to the sources. The back-and-forth between the companies indicates that tough negotiations lie ahead.

Viacom has not yet decided on the exact share exchange ratio it will ask for, but is expected to seek more than 0.62 CBS share for every Viacom share, one of the sources said. Viacom's counterproposal is expected by Thursday, another of the sources added.

Viacom will argue that potential cost synergies of more than $1 billion mean that it should command a premium in a deal, according to the sources.

National Amusements Inc, the controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom, wants Viacom CEO Robert Bakish to be No. 2 in the combined company, the sources said. But CBS CEO Les Moonves, who has offered to run the combined company, wants CBS Chief Operating Officer Joseph Ianniello as No. 2, the sources added.

The sources asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential. CBS and Viacom did not immediately respond to requests for comment. CNBC first reported that Viacom had dismissed CBS's offer.

Viacom shares were up nearly 1 percent at $29.69, while CBS shares were up 0.5 percent at $53.14.

CBS and Viacom set up special committees to explore the merger in February, a move to reunite the companies split by controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone more than a decade ago.

The two companies explored a merger in 2016 instigated by the Redstone family, but those talks ended unsuccessfully, due to concerns by CBS about price and governance issues.

Since then, Bakish has taken a number of steps to boost the company's performance, including improving relations with cable and satellite companies, causing some analysts to expect CBS to acquire Viacom at a premium.

Many of Viacom and CBS's competitors are merging as scale becomes increasingly important in the media landscape, with more customers cancelling pricey cable contracts, and Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc spending billions of dollars on making shows and movies.

Walt Disney Co announced in December it would buy the majority of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's <FOX.A> assets. Discovery Communications recently bought Scripps Networks Interactive Inc (>> Scripps Networks).

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Jessica Toonkel in New York; Editing by David Gregorio and Matthew Lewis)

By Greg Roumeliotis and Jessica Toonkel


© Reuters 2018
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMAZON.COM, INC. -0.36% 3343.63 Delayed Quote.3.03%
DISCOVERY, INC. -3.31% 25.15 Delayed Quote.-16.42%
NETFLIX, INC. -0.40% 573.14 Delayed Quote.5.99%
SEEK LIMITED 0.41% 29.71 End-of-day quote.4.14%
VIACOM INC. 0.00%End-of-day quote.0.00%
VIACOMCBS INC. -0.51% 38.66 Delayed Quote.3.76%
WALT DISNEY COMPANY (THE) -4.17% 171.17 Delayed Quote.-5.52%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 28 067 M - -
Net income 2021 2 907 M - -
Net Debt 2021 12 142 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 8,71x
Yield 2021 2,50%
Capitalization 25 153 M 25 153 M -
EV / Sales 2021 1,33x
EV / Sales 2022 1,22x
Nbr of Employees 22 109
Free-Float 51,6%
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Technical analysis trends VIACOMCBS INC.
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 28
Last Close Price 38,66 $
Average target price 51,94 $
Spread / Average Target 34,4%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
Robert Marc Bakish President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
Naveen Chopra Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Shari Ellen Redstone Non-Executive Chairman
Philip R. Wiser Chief Technology Officer & Executive VP
Stephen D. Mirante Chief Administrative Officer & Executive VP
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