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CBS Corp. sues majority shareholder to gain independence

May 14, 2018

FILE - This May 10, 2017, file photo, shows the CBS logo at their broadcast center in New York. CBS Corp. is suing its controlling shareholder in the latest move in a long-running attempt to combine CBS and Viacom. Both companies’ majority shareholder is National Amusements, which is run by media mogul Sumner Redstone’s daughter Shari Redstone. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — CBS is suing its controlling shareholder as part of its long-running attempt to avoid a combination with Viacom.

Both companies are controlled by National Amusements. That’s the holding company run by Shari Redstone, the daughter of media mogul Sumner Redstone. Though National Amusements abandoned a proposal for CBS and Viacom to combine in 2016, CBS fears it may come up again.

Now, CBS is suing to block any interference by National Amusements ahead of a CBS board vote on a dividend that would dilute National Amusements’ voting interest from 79 percent to 17 percent. CBS says that would make CBS independent and allow it to “more fully evaluate strategic alternatives.”

National Amusements says it is “outraged” and has no intention of forcing a deal not supported by both companies.

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