Judge Denies CBS Restraining Order in Merger Battle with Redstones

A judge in the Delaware Court of Chancery May 17 denied a restraining order request by CBS Corp. to stop majority shareholders Shari Redstone and her ailing 94-year-old father Sumner Redstone from blocking an expected CBS board vote later today that would dilute the Redstones’ voting power.

The judge’s ruling means Shari Redstone can override a planned move by CBS to thwart the Redstones’ stranglehold on board votes by reducing their 70% voting stake to 18%.

CBS issued a statement saying the judge’s decision would not keep it from pursuing what was in the best interest of its shareholders.

“The ruling clearly recognizes that we may bring further legal action to challenge any actions by [the Redstones] that we consider to be un lawful,” the company said in a statement.

In the rapidly changing media landscape, Shari Redstone is seeking to re-merge CBS and Viacom, with Viacom CEO Bob Bakish assuming the No. 2 position to CBS CEO Les Moonves. The latter, who has no real interest in rejoining Viacom, including assets Paramount Pictures, BET, MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, among others, wants to install his own senior management.

 

 

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