CBS, Viacom announce merger deal

US media groups CBS and Viacom have announced they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine in an all-stock merger, forming a new $28bn-(€25bn)-plus revenue company.

CBS said in a statement that the combined company, ViacomCBS Inc., will serve as a “leading global, multi-platform, premium content company” with the assets, capabilities and scale to become a leading worldwide content producer and provider.

Leadership positions will be held in the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The combined company will also have a portfolio of direct-to-consumer platforms, including both subscription and ad-supported services.

Bob Bakish, the current president and chief executive of Viacom, will take up the same roles with the new combined company. Joe Ianniello, president and acting chief executive of CBS, will become chairman and chief executive of CBS, overseeing all CBS-branded assets in his new role.

CBS and Viacom confirmed the resumption of merger talks in February 2018 after previous efforts were abandoned in December 2016. The merger is expected to close by the end of the year.

CBS currently holds rights to the NFL, with the company beginning a nine-year extension of its partnership with the American football league in 2013. The deal was worth a reported $9.23bn at the time.