In an announcement made just after the Closing Bell on Wall Street Friday (Sept. 30), Viacom‘s board of directors announced that it has formed a special committee of independent directors to evaluate the request by controlling shareholder National Amusements that it explore a potential combination with CBS Inc.
The special committee is comprised of independent directors Thomas May and Nicole Seligman, who will act as co-chairs; and Kenneth Lerer, Judith McHale, Ronald Nelson and Charles Phillips.
The special committee has retained Debevoise & Plimpton LLP as its independent legal advisor, and expects to retain an independent financial advisor.
The committee will not comment further on the potential reunification unless and until it determines that additional disclosure is appropriate.
The action by Viacom comes after CBS Corp. on Thursday formally acknowledged that its board of directors received a letter from National Amusements — the Sumner Redstone-led entity of which daughter Shari Redstone owns the 20% of company shares not owned by her father.