Viacom board members recently picked by Sumner and Shari Redstone to join the governing body dominate the Special Committee of Independent Directors that will look into a potential merger with CBS, the company says.
Eversource Energy Chairman Thomas May and former Sony Entertainment President Nicole Seligman will be co-chairs. Others exploring the matter include tech investor Kenneth Lerer, former Discovery President Judith McHale, Avis Budget Group Executive Chairman Ronald Nelson and Infor CEO Charles Phillips.
They’ve hired Debevoise & Plimpton to be independent legal adviser and will pick an independent financial adviser.
The committee will have to protect the interests of independent investors, though Redstone-controlled National Amusements owns 80% of the company’s voting shares. The exhibition chain yesterday called on Viacom and CBS directors to consider the possibility of an all-stock merger.
Today’s announcement says that the Special Committee won’t publicly discuss its deliberations, but that could change if it deems a communication to be “appropriate.”