The potential recombination of National Amusements subsidiaries CBS Corp. and Viacom has moved another step forward.
CBS has retained banks Moelis & Co. and Goldman Sachs to advise on the possible merger, which has been on the table since Shari Redstone and her father, Sumner Redstone, took more active control of Viacom after their battle with former CEO Philippe Dauman.
CBS and Viacom have already created special committees to review conditions for a merger, which would bring the CBS broadcast network together with cable nets such as Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Viacom will not hire any specialist financial or legal advisors apart from those it brought on it counsel the committee, namely Morgan Stanley, Allen & Co. and LionTree Advisors LLC.
Last week, CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves said his company, which has been a Wall Street success story in the past decade, would only entertain a merger with the more-challenged Viacom “if it is in the best interests of CBS and all of its shareholders”.
Moonves would likely run the merged operation, having guided CBS through a sustained period of growth. Viacom recent named international chief Bob Bakish interim CEO of the wider business, with current incumbent Tom Dooley exiting on November 15.