This is the last part of the long-running effort to separate the entertainment company from its billboard business. CBS spun off the operation — CBS Outdoor Americas — in March, but still owns 81% of the publicly traded company. The plan announced this morning will unload that by giving CBS stockholders an incentive to swap their holdings for shares of CBS Outdoor. The goal is to give investors a 7% premium to make a tax-free trade of some or all of their shares in early July. The deal is contingent on CBS’ ability to trade at least 58.2M of its 97M CBS Outdoor shares. Once CBS Outdoor is fully independent, it will convert itself into a real estate investment trust (REIT). “We fully believe that CBS Outdoor will continue to be successful as a stand-alone company,” CBS chief Les Moonves says. “And for our part, CBS Corporation can focus on what we do best, which is invest, produce and distribute premium content across all platforms and all around the world.”
Goldman, Sachs and Morgan Stanley will manage the exchange and J.P. Morgan will be a financial advisor.