Viacom and CBS Corporation have formed special committees to evaluate a potential combination.
The companies both issued statements that said: “There can be no assurance that this process will result in a transaction or on what terms any transaction may occur.”
This marks the first step in a potential reuniting of the companies split by Sumner Redstone more than a decade ago. The companies previously explored a merger in 2016, but those talks fell through.
Redstone’s National Amusements, which owns a controlling stake in both media companies, expressed its support of the formal start of merger talks. “National Amusements supports the processes announced by CBS and Viacom to evaluate a combination of the two companies, which we believe has the potential to drive significant, long-term shareholder value,” the company said in a statement. “National Amusements does not currently intend to make any further comments regarding the process.”