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CBS, Viacom reach merger agreement

ViacomCBS will have about $28 billion in revenue

The long-mooted acquisition of Viacom by CBS has been agreed after more than 48 hours of negotiations.

The newly merged ViacomCBS Inc. will be headed by Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, with acting CBS CEO Joe Ianniello becoming chairman-CEO of CBS. Shari Redstone will become chairman of ViacomCBS.

The combined company will have about $28 billion in revenue, projecting $500 million in synergy savings within two years.

Bakish said: “Today marks an important day for CBS and Viacom, as we unite our complementary assets and capabilities and become one of only a few companies with the breadth and depth of content and reach to shape the future of our industry.

“Our unique ability to produce premium and popular content for global audiences at scale – for our own platforms and for our partners around the world – will enable us to maximise our business for today, while positioning us to lead for years to come.”

Ianniello added: “This merger brings an exciting new set of opportunities to both companies. At CBS, we have outstanding momentum right now – creatively and operationally – and Viacom’s portfolio will help accelerate that progress.

“I look forward to all we will do together as we build on our ongoing success. And personally, I am pleased to remain focused on CBS’s top priority – continuing our transformation into a global, multiplatform, premium content company.”

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.