CBS Filing Says Radio Unit Will Trade At NYSE As “CBSR”

CBS’ plan to spin off its radio division remains on track: The broadcaster today filed an updated preliminary prospectus at the SEC for the operation to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CBSR.”

The document doesn’t yet disclose how many shares CBS intends to offer, and the pricing for the stock. But the offering will be underwritten by a who’s who of Wall Street bankers including Goldman, Sachs & Co. BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Wells Fargo Securities, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, and Deutsche Bank Securities.

The radio group has sold $1.46 billion of debt at a 5.25% average interest rate to prepare for the separation from CBS. The TV company probably will use the cash to repurchase its stock.

CBS told analysts early this month that the CBS Radio IPO likely will take place in early 2017, although there’s “a small window of opportunity” to move sooner.

The spin-off should strengthen CBS’ hand as it weighs the possibility of merging with Viacom, about a decade after the companies separated. Both are controlled by Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements, which has asked them to explore options to reunite.

The operation that gave birth to CBS in 1927 now has 117 stations in 26 markets.

They include “ many of the leading national and local radio stations in the United States, including the most listened-to Sports (WFAN in New York), News (1010 WINS in New York), Classic Hits (WCBS-FM in New York), Alternative Rock (KROQ in Los Angeles), Adult Album Alternative (WXRT in Chicago) and Adult Hits (KCBS-FM in Los Angeles) radio stations in the United States,” the preliminary proxy says.

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