The merger talks between CBS and Viacom (parent company of Paramount Pictures) that began in January are heating up with reports now indicating the two media companies will begin a new phase of discussions this week. According to Variety, they will be discussing valuations of the two companies, which is one of the last steps in the process. Variety reports that the final deal will have CBS as the “acquiring entity” with CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves leading the combined entity.
This makes determining the value of Viacom the last step in the process. While Viacom has struggled in recent years, analysts feel changes in management and strategy make the company more attractive for CBS. A Wall Street Journal analysis says Viacom is a better deal now than the last time the two companies considered remerging back in 2016, specifically noting that the true value of Viacom’s international business and Paramount Pictures studio and library are currently being undervalued in the share price.
And if you want a simple visual explanation as to why it makes sense for these companies to come together, Recode offers the following infographic, showing how both Viacom and CBS are dwarfed by other media companies.
All of Star Trek under one roof
In 2006 when Viacom and CBS split into two companies they also split Star Trek between them. CBS owns the Star Trek license in general (which includes merchandise) and the television library, while Paramount owns the film library and holds the license to make feature films.
Bringing the two companies back together could allow more synergy for Star Trek, which could help CBS add more value to the All Access streaming service, home to Star Trek: Discovery. It’s also possible it could provide Paramount with more funding or sources of co-financing, an area it has struggled with in the last few years.
Bottom line, the reunification of the owners of Star Trek could only be a benefit to the franchise.
TrekMovie will continue to keep tabs on all the business news affecting Star Trek, so stay tuned for updates.