The battle over 93-year old Sumner Redstone’s vast $40bn media empire is coming to an end.
Sumner Redstone and the Viacom board are negotiating a settlement that would see chief executive Philippe Dauman step down, marking a victory for the Redstones after the months-long struggle for control of the group that owns MTV and Paramount Pictures, writes Anna Nicolaou.
Mr Daumann will exit with a $72m severance package, according to people familiar with the negotiations. The agreement is being finalised and may be announced as soon as tonight.
As part of the deal Tom Dooley, Viacom’s chief operating officer, would become interim chief executive through September 30, as the board makes succession plans.
Mr Redstone had recently removed Mr Dauman from the board of a family trust that will control his holdings when he dies and also moved to replace some directors on the Viacom board. Mr Dauman challenged the removal in court, accusing Ms Redstone of manipulating her infirm father.
As part of the settlement, the legal cases would be dropped.
Viacom’s shares have slumped in the past year as its portfolio of cable channels — including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central — have struggled amid cord-cutting and weaker advertising revenues.
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