I know, I know, late to this, but I’m not sure how Viacom (VIAB) gets away with saying its 92-year old bossman, Sumner Redstone, is fine; rather, “mentally capable.” At 92, it’s becoming clear that Redstone plans to live forever and won’t willingly hand over the reigns.
Here he is in 2010.
So now we’ve got GAMCO and Mario Gabelli wanting more disclosure over Redstone’s health. This comes as Red was hit with a recent lawsuit by his ex-girlfriend about his mental capacity. She was kicked out of Red’s mansion in Oct.
Viacom..(VIA)…give to Hollywood what belongs to H …..but give to all shareholders what the Board of Directors know about Executive Chair
— Mario Gabelli (@MarioGabelli) December 1, 2015
Now, Gabelli’s owns about 10 percent of the class A Viacom shares and some 10% of Red’s other baby, CBS (CBS). Red controls both companies and owns 80 percent of the voting shares of both.
At that time, control over Redstone’s stakes will pass to a trust with a seven-member board. His daughter, Shari Redstone, his grandson Tyler Korff, the Viacom CEO and four lawyers. Shari, at 61, likely has no interest in participating in the race to the bottom in the media industry. She’s looking for an exit. Question is; how will they cash-in? Who does these respective companies get sold to, or in the least, we’ll see a reuniting of Viacom-CBS.