Redstone ousting 5 Viacom board members

Sumner Redstone in 101 seconds
The power battle engulfing Viacom intensified on Thursday with a major shakeup of the business’s board. Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements, which owns 80% of Viacom’s voting stock, announced that Viacom CEO Philipe Dauman, George S. Abrams, Blythe J. McGarvie, Frederic V. Salerno and William Schwartz would be gotten rid of and replaced from the board of directors. The purge is anticipated to be a start to ousting Dauman as CEO. National Amusements stated in its statement that although Dauman will remain the magnate, it will be the board’s duty “to examine the present management team and take whatever steps it considers appropriate to make sure that Viacom has in place strong, independent and efficient leadership.” Related: Sumner Redstone’s ‘trust’ email broadens split with Viacom Wall Street reacted favorably to the statement. Viacom’s stock increased approximately 5% in the wake of the news Thursday afternoon. The shakeup spurred more allegations that the 93-year-old Redstone is being controlled by his daughter, Shari. Redstone’s visits were immediately challenged in court, according to Salerno, Viacom’s lead independent director. “I am filing today a suit in Delaware Chancery Court looking for an expedited determination that Ms. Redstone’s attempted elimination and replacement of Viacom directors is invalid which the directors chosen at the 2016 Annual Satisfying continue to serve,” Salerno stated. He decried the relocation as a “brazen and demonstrably void effort by Ms. Redstone to gain control of Viacom and its management in disregard of Sumner Redstone’s wishes and to weaken the present board’s capability to represent the best interests of all of the shareholders of Viacom.” “Sadly, it is now clear that Mr. Redstone is being controlled and used by his child in an effort to accomplish her long-held goal of getting total control of Viacom,” Salerno said. Related: Viacom determined to sell Paramount National Amusements announced that the five outbound board directors will be changed by Kenneth Lerer, Thomas J. May, Judith McHale, Ronald Nelson and Nicole Seligman. The most significant name on that list is likely Lerer, a co-founder of The Huffington Post who presently works as chairman of BuzzFeed. Prior to the modifications work, they will have to be verified by the Delaware Court of Chancery. Dauman and Abrams filed a suit last month after they were ousted from the trust that will manage Viacom (VIA) and CBS (CBS) when Redstone passes away or is immobilized. The 2 plaintiffs say that Shari Redstone is “separating” her ailing daddy, and have actually required Sumner Redstone to send to an immediate medical examination. Redstone’s agents and lawyers assert that he does have the mental capacity to supervise his media empire, and that he has actually despaired in Dauman and Abrams. One source of consternation, according to the Redstone camp, is Dauman’s intent to sell a stake in Paramount Photo. Last week, National Amusements changed Viacom’s laws to require unanimous approval from Viacom’s board before finishing a Paramount sale. Regardless of that, Dauman is moving on with a sale, which he said would include $10 to Viacom’s stock price. Redstone’s representatives say that he is vigorously opposed to a deal. In an email sent today to Salerno, Viacom’s lead independent director, Redstone stated, “I not trust Philippe or those who support him.”

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