Shares of media conglomerate Viacom spiked as much as 12% just before the closing bell Friday after TheWrap reported it was in talks to merge with CBS. The stock closed up 7%.
The news website said CBS chairman Les Moonves is now open to the consolidation, reversing his previous stance, citing three individuals with knowledge of the talks.
Viacom was formed in 2005 out of a split from the previous iteration of the company, with the predecessor re-branded as the CBS Corporation. Viacom currently operates production studios including Paramount Pictures and Paramount Television; TV stations including BET, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon; and ratemyprofessors.com.
The two companies have previously attempted to merge at the request of majority stakeholder National Amusements, but the deal was called off in December 2016.
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