Just like the famous westerns of old that once aired on CBS including Gunsmoke and Have Gun—Will Travel, the board and ownership interests of the TV network are locked in a pretty uncomfortable standoff. Shari Redstone and National Amusements Inc (NAI) currently control 80 percent of the voting stock of both CBS and Viacom while CBS chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves and 10 independent board members are trying to reduce that voting control from 80 percent to 20 percent. NAI argues that the move was unprecedented and invalid under Delaware law.
So CBS sued NAI two weeks ago, accusing Redstone of abusing her power over the company at the expense of public stockholders and thus the guns were drawn and it was the equivalent of high noon in the Delaware courts.
“Ms. Redstone discussed NAI’s long-term plans for CBS, focusing on a two-step process starting with a merger with Viacom that would strengthen both entities, and continuing thereafter with a sale or merger of the stronger combined entity, with NAI open to the possibility of relinquishing its voting control as part of that second transaction,” the suit states. The legal process is expected to last at least a few months, during which time Moonves and Redstone will be seeing each other at the local saloon and trying not to draw their guns.
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More on the case:
Shari Redstone Suggests Willingness to Sell Family Business Amid CBS Legal War