Redstones officially urge Viacom- CBS merger talks
Sumner Redstone and his daughter, Shari, have officially taken a key step toward putting Viacom and CBS back together again. National Amusements Inc., the Redstone-controlled movie theater chain and investment vehicle, sent a letter to the boards of directors at both companies on Thursday urging them to consider merging. The letter was expected, and has been considered the long-term goal of the 93-year-old Sumner Redstone and his daughter after they prevailed in an intense power struggle that resulted in the ouster of Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman. National Amusements controls 80 percent of the voting shares of both firms. Analysts have said a recombination of Viacom and CBS could result in a more formidable media player to compete with the likes of the Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox. Viacom has struggled since it split from CBS in 2006, while CBS has thrived.