Redstone To Unload Theaters
Sumner Redstone will sell a part of his National Amusement theater chain as part of a proposed agreement with lenders that will allow him to avoid selling additional shares of Viacom and CBS, the London Financial Times reported today (Thursday), citing people familiar with the matter. The move required Redstone to reach an agreement on the sale with his daughter Sheri, who heads the chain and is a member of the board of National Amusements, the holding company for Viacom and CBS. The newspaper said that the plan would allow Redstone to hold on to National Amusements' theaters in the New England area, where it is based and which account for half its value. Redstone is under pressure to restructure $1.6 billion in debt within about two weeks (December 19), when about half of it comes due. The FT observed that the entire theater chain is valued at $500-700 million by analysts and $1 billion by Redstone.