ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC) has announced the completion of the merger between CBS Corporation and Viacom Inc. The combined company, which is renamed ViacomCBS, creates a premium content powerhouse with global scale, including leadership positions in markets across the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia.
“This is a historic moment that brings together two iconic companies to form one of the world’s most important content producers and providers,” said Bob Bakish, President and Chief Executive Officer of ViacomCBS. “Through the combination of CBS’s and Viacom’s complementary assets, capabilities and talented teams, ViacomCBS will create and deliver premium content for its own platforms and for others, while providing innovative solutions for advertisers and distributors globally. I am excited about the opportunity we have to serve our audiences, creative and commercial partners, and employees, while generating significant long-term value for our shareholders.”
Building on an extraordinary collection of culture-defining franchises and partnerships with creative talent around the world, ViacomCBS will be home to more than 140,000 premium TV episodes and 3,600 film titles, with global production capabilities and more than $13 billion in annual content investment. The company will account for 22% of TV viewership in the U.S. and hold the highest share of broadcast and cable viewing across key audience demographics, with strength in all categories, including News, Sports, General Entertainment, Pop Culture, Comedy, Music and Kids.
Through the strength and scale of these assets, ViacomCBS will be well-equipped to maximize the value of its content for its own platforms and for others, as it meets the growing global demand for third-party premium content. The company’s content scale will support a robust streaming strategy, including ViacomCBS’s own suite of advertising and subscription-based offerings. In addition, the company’s broad reach, extensive intellectual property portfolio and expertise in advanced marketing solutions will enable it to strengthen its partnerships with distributors and advertisers globally.
ViacomCBS Class A and Class B shares will begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on December 5, 2019 under the ticker symbols “VIACA” and “VIAC”, respectively.
As previously announced, as a result of the merger, each Viacom Class A share and Viacom Class B share converted into 0.59625 of a Class A share and Class B share of ViacomCBS, respectively. Holders of CBS Class A shares and CBS Class B shares will continue to own their existing shares, which are now shares of ViacomCBS.
ViacomCBS says it will have an attractive growth outlook, be positioned to deliver beneficial cost and revenue synergies and generate substantial free cash flow. This will sustain significant investment in programming and innovation, as well as support ViacomCBS’s commitment to a modest dividend payment. ViacomCBS will also benefit from a strong balance sheet, solid investment grade rating and a board and management team that are focused on creating shareholder value.