Earlier this morning, Viacom and CBS finally announced the closing date for their long-awaited merger. The companies are expected to close the deal on December 4th of this year.
This announcement for ViacomCBS comes just after the merged companies revealed the various financial details of the merger this past weekend. ViacomCBS named 4 current employees as heads of their financial department, and announced the details of the company’s stock offerings on the NASDAQ. On December 5th, the day after the merge is completed, ViacomCBS will begin trading shares on the NASDAQ under the new ticker symbols VIACA and VIAC.
But despite the buzz surrounding the union of these two companies, ViacomCBS may now receive the high investments it hoped for. ViacomCBS stock was initially valued at $30 billion when the merger was announced last year, but has since dropped significantly. This indicates that investors are questioning whether the two companies will actually bring anything new to the table as a combined unit, or whether the merger really doesn’t add that much value to the industry. Shari Redstone, the head of National Amusements, the controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom, addressed the investors’ concerns earlier this month: “When you look at Viacom and CBS combined together, we have an incredible library. We have incredible IP. We spend over $13 billion on content. We can compete with the best of them.”
The IP Redstone mentions is the very thing ViacomCBS is counting on going forward into next year. Between Paramount studios and the CBS television network, ViacomCBS will have a huge collection of children’s television, late-night, and news programming to pull resources from. If successful, this merger will complete the mission set out by the Redstone family 20 years ago when CBS and Viacom first announced their intent to merge. Though Viacom was originally created in the 70s when the Justice Department forced CBS to split apart, it appears unlikely that the current administration’s Justice Department will have any objection to the reunion of the two companies.