CBS Corp. majority shareholder National Amusements Inc., led by Shari Redstone, is considering tabling its push for the broadcaster to recombine with Viacom Inc. in exchange for CBS dropping an attempt to dilute its stake in the company, The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 5, citing people familiar with the matter.
A settlement may also include a board shake-up at CBS, the Journal reported, though it remained unclear what the implications could be for embattled CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, who is under investigation amid allegations of sexual harassment. Moonves' fate was not part of the settlement talks, the Journal report said.
Should the talks fail, the companies are scheduled to head to court for a trial in less than a month. CBS' annual meeting was originally scheduled for last May, but could be further delayed by the talks, the Journal reported.
CBS in May filed a lawsuit against National Amusements, the Redstone family holding company that controls nearly 80% of the voting stock in both CBS and Viacom, accusing National Amusements of breaching its fiduciary duty in pushing for a deal with Viacom. National Amusement also filed a suit against CBS, asking the court to stop CBS' board from trying to dilute the shareholder's voting control in the company via a special dividend.