The 92-year old Sumner Redstone, majority owner of Viacom (VIAB) and CBS (CBS), has faced health questions from Mario Gabelli, GAMCO founder, and one of the top shareholders of each company’s.
Gabelli would like to see Viacom sell a stake of Paramount Pictures to Alibaba (BABA) to get a foothold in China. Both CBS and Viacom have to do something to navigate the transitioning media market. Viacom and CBS could merge or get bought.
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Ideas include getting CBS to merge with Time Warner (TWX), where the two co-own the CW network. Or, John Malone could get involved and combine CBS with LionsGate (LGF), Starz (STRZA) and Discover (DISCA).
Gabelli has a large enough say to get something done here and has alluded to such a tie-up of CBS or Viacom with Malone’s entities. Note that GAMCO owns 47% of the CBS float and 50% of the Viacom float.