Viacom Shares Dip 7% as Deal Fervor Fizzles

Viacom stock finished Tuesday down 7.1%, closing at $31.38 per share, after the initial enthusiasm around a possible recombination with CBS fizzled almost as quickly as it began.

Viacom shares wereup more than 7% ($2.95 per share) on Friday (Jan. 12),closing at $33.76 each after media business websiteThe Wrapreported that talks have been restarted about putting the two companies – split in 2005 – back together again. According to The Wrap, the catalyst behind the recombination was none other than Shari Redstone, vice chairman of National Amusements, and along with her father Sumner Redstone – founder of NAI – the largest individual shareholders of both companies.

CBS shareholders were apparently pleased that no deal seemed imminent – its shares were up 1% (60 cents) to $59.43 each on Tuesday.

Neither Viacom nor CBS would comment on the deal speculation, but shortly after The Wrap story surfaced – driving Viacom stock northward – reports from Reuters and CNBC said no formal talks were occurring. The final nail in the speculation appeared to come on Tuesday, whenCNBC reported that neither side had hired bankers or advisers.

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