Viacom surges after reports it's in talks to merge with CBS

  • 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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