Viacom and controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone agree on settlement: sources

Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:49pm EDT
 
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By Jessica Toonkel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - - Viacom Inc (VIAB.O: Quote) and controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone have come to an agreement on terms of a settlement that would result in the departure of Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday.

An announcement is expected to come Thursday night, sources said.

The settlement would end the battle for control over Redstone's $40 billion empire that includes Viacom and CBS, and which has been a source of shareholder angst and months of uncertainty.

It would also conclude the legal battle between Dauman and Redstone in Massachusetts over the CEO's removal from National Amusements Inc, the privately held company that holds Redstone's Viacom and CBS Corp (CBS.N: Quote) voting shares, as well as the trust that will determine the fate of both media companies when the 93-year-old dies or is deemed mentally incapacitated.

Under terms of the settlement, if finalized, Dauman, 62, will be replaced by Viacom Chief Operating Officer and his longtime right-hand man, Thomas Dooley, who will be interim CEO until Sept. 30, and then may stay on longer, according to the sources, who wished to remain anonymous because the discussions are confidential.

As part of the agreement, Dauman will stay on as executive chairman until Sept. 13 and be allowed to present his plan to sell a minority stake in Paramount Pictures to the Viacom board, the sources said. Dauman will receive about $72 million under the agreement, they said.

Spokesmen for Viacom and National Amusements declined to comment.

Sumner Redstone in May removed Dauman and Viacom board member George Abrams from the Sumner M. Redstone National Amusements Inc Trust. A spokesman for Redstone said the media mogul had been unhappy with the company's performance and about Dauman's plans to sell a stake in Paramount Pictures.   Continued...

 
FILE PHOTO: Sumner Redstone, executive chairman of CBS Corp. and Viacom, arrives at the premiere of 'The Guilt Trip' in Los Angeles December 11, 2012.  REUTERS/Fred Prouser