Shari Redstone and Leslie Moonves Have Starring Roles in a Corporate War

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In a press release issued afterward, National Amusements stated it “has no intention of forcing a merger that isn’t supported by each CBS and Viacom. Today’s board vote, whereas couched as an effort to stop such a transaction, was pure pretext. CBS administration and the particular committee can’t want away the fact that CBS has a controlling shareholder.”

CBS rejected that view, saying in a information launch after the assembly, “The board of administrators has taken this step as a result of it believes it’s in the very best pursuits of all CBS stockholders, is critical to guard stockholders’ pursuits and would unlock vital stockholder worth.”

The choice by CBS to file a lawsuit in opposition to Ms. Redstone on Monday was an early salvo in its effort to dam her from attaining her ambition of reuniting the 2 firms, which had been one and the identical from 2000 to 2006. That go well with resulted in a loss for Mr. Moonves. Still, the 17-page choice by Chancellor Andre G. Bouchard of Delaware’s Court of Chancery left a door open for CBS to problem any additional strikes by its major shareholder down the road.

Earlier within the week, whereas the decide was contemplating the lawsuit, Mr. Moonves was enjoying his function because the gregarious community government to the hilt: On Tuesday, he attended a dinner thrown by the expertise company WME at Peter Luger, the Brooklyn steakhouse. On Wednesday, on the community’s annual presentation for advertisers, he stood on the Carnegie Hall stage, basking in applause earlier than making point out of his plight with the knowledgeable timing of a late-night host — “So. How’s your week been?” — to a roar of laughter.

At the community’s spare-no-expense get together after the occasion, held in grand rooms on 4 flooring of the Plaza Hotel, Mr. Moonves sat on a sofa within the firm of his spouse, the anchor and tv host Julie Chen, because the expertise stopped by to kiss the ring.

Despite such trappings, which associate with an annual pay bundle of $69.three million, Mr. Moonves might not be capable to run CBS in a fashion that goes in opposition to the desires of its main shareholder. Since 1999, Ms. Redstone has served because the president and director of her father’s firm, and her function has recently expanded, now that Mr. Redstone is unwell, below the watch of attendants in his $20 million mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif. Since February of final yr, Ms. Redstone has been the official head of National Amusements, having taken management from the patriarch who as soon as boasted that he would by no means die.

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