CBS Forms Committee To Explore Possible Viacom Merger


The rumors are true: CBS Corp.‘s Board of Directors on Thursday discussed the possibility of a merger with Viacom.

In a short announcement made at 4:45pm Eastern, just after RBR+TVBR dispatched its afternoon news headlines, CBS confirmed that its board has established a special committee of independent directors to evaluate a potential combination with Viacom.

CBS would only add that “there can be no assurance that this process will result in a transaction or on what terms any transaction may occur.”

Neither CBS nor the committee intends to comment further, until the process is completed.

The news came after CBS’s board approved a quarterly dividend on the company’s stock of 18 cents per share.

Both conversation pieces helped CBS see a healthy gain on Wall Street in Thursday’s trading.

At the Closing Bell, CBS was up 2.3%, to $58.93. In early after-hours trading on Thursday, CBS was up to $58.97.

While CBS was up, Viacom’s Class B shares slipped 6 cents, to $33.36.

Elsewhere on Wall Street:

  • Pandora shares improved by 6.6%, to $5.09, following the streaming audio company’s announcement late Thursday that it will trim 5% of its workforce and shift operations in part from Oakland to Atlanta.
  • Veritone Inc. rose 3.4%, to $18.35, for a small recovery after a huge decline in share value on Wednesday.
  • Meredith Corp. stock plummeted 14.4%, to $56.65, on exceptionally heavy volume of 2.93 million shares (average trading volume is 561,467 shares). Why, asks The Motley Fool? It’s not clear, as the company beat analysts’ estimates. However, the dip comes with the closing of Meredith’s acquisition of Time Inc., and investor sentiment could be sour on that deal — or declining revenue estimates at its local TV stations.