Sumner Redstone

Redstones scrap proposed CBS-Viacom merger, unnerving investors

Redstones scrap proposed CBS-Viacom merger, unnerving investors

After flirting with the prospect of reuniting Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp., Shari Redstone on Monday abruptly reversed course, saying the two media firms were strong enough to stand on their own.

Viacom shareholders were unnerved by the news, the latest surprise at a company that has been roiled by turmoil for more than a year.

Shares in Viacom plummeted 9.4%, or $3.63 a share, to $34.99. CBS slipped just 41 cents, or less than a percent 1%, to $62.15 — reflecting sentiment on Wall Street that CBS might indeed be better off without Viacom’s struggling TV channels, including Comedy Central and MTV, weighing it down.

Some Viacom investors expressed confusion and...

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