The Associated Press took notice this week when Sumner Redstone made an SEC filing showing that he had sold 503,529 shares of Viacom for nearly 20 million bucks. The shares were sold back to Viacom itself by National Amusements, the Redstone family company that controls both Viacom and CBS Corporation.
In fact, National Amusements has been selling stock back to Viacom on a fairly regular basis. It has an agreement with Viacom to participate on a pro-rata basis in the media company’s stock buyback program. Neither National Amusements nor Redstone himself has sold any CBS stock recently.
RBR/TVBR observation: We would note, however, that all of the shares that Redstone sold back to Viacom were non-voting Class B shares. He has not sold a single one of the 46.8 million-plus Class A shares by which he, via National Amusements, holds voting control of Viacom. A similar share class structure exists at CBS.