June 7, 2018
The legal skirmish between CBS and corporate parent National Amusements, which is led by co-owners Sumner Redstone and his daughter Shari Redstone (who runs the company in place of her ailing father), will gets its day in court on Oct. 3.
On that day, the Delaware Chancery Court will begin proceedings to determine whether CBS has the legal authority to flood shareholders with a dividend issuance that would reduce National Amusement’s voting power from 79% to 17%. The issuance would not undermine NAI’s stock ownership or market cap.
Shari Redstone responded to the CBS move by changing the company’s bylaws and requiring 90% approval vote by the board of directors on such matters.
At issue is Ms. Redstone’s desire to meld CBS with Viacom, whose assets include Paramount Pictures, BET, MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, among others.
Les Moonves, who heads CBS, has been lukewarm to the idea. Moonves, who would head the combined company, wants to install his own management team, including COO Joseph Inniello as his second-in-command.
Redstone wants to put Bob Bakish, current CEO of Viacom, in that position.
CBS, which delayed its annual shareholder meeting due to the conflict, has rescheduled it for August 10.