In Letter, Redstones Urge Viacom and CBS to Explore Merger

The Redstones are playing hardball. The ailing 93-year-old mogul Sumner M. Redstone and his daughter, Shari Redstone, on Thursday made their intentions for the future of their $40 billion media empire crystal clear: They are calling for the reunification of CBS and Viacom in an all-stock deal that would leave the family in control of the combined company. The father-daughter duo outlined their plans for the proposed deal in a 251-word letter sent Thursday to the boards of CBS and Viacom, instructing the directors to consider combining the two media companies. While the Redstones encouraged “full and fair deliberation and negotiation” on the potential transaction, the subtext of the letter was that the family would determine the fate of the two companies and that it wanted those two companies to become one.

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