Viacom, CBS jump on report of new re-merger pursuit

Reuters

Viacom's stock closed at $39.10 today, up almost 10% over the previous day's closing price and continuing to rise in after-hours trading, while CBS's stock closed up 2% at $58.83. Viacom and CBS initially merged in 1999. Viacom retreated 2% late.

None of the parties involved are commenting on the record about potential merger talks, but shares of both CBS and Viacom have spiked based on the report. Such talk comes amid multiple deals around consolidation of traditional media companies over the previous year.

TrekMovie will report on any updates to this developing story.

This would not have been the first time a Redstone has pushed for a CBS-Viacom merger since they split over a decade ago.

Still, after-hours trading had Viacom's stock sink 2%, with subsequent reports refuting the initial news.

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A report that Shari Redstone is interested in recombining Viacom and CBS sent both stocks higher heading into Friday's close.

Viacom and CBS became separate operating companies in 2005.

But that was before Walt Disney ( DIS ) agreed to acquire 21st Century Fox ( FOXA ) entertainment assets.

Sources told TheWrap that Redstone believes that a larger company would be more competitive in the current media environment.

Viacom owns Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and more, with teen and children's programming heavily exposed to Netflix ( NFLX ) and other streaming options. In recent years CBS CEO Leslie Moonves has dismissed the idea of the companies re-merging, however according to the report he is now "open to the possibility", due to recent media company consolidation and Moonves being the most likely person to run the newly merged entity.

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