Court Date Set as Dauman Wants Back In at Redstone Trust

A Massachusetts judge has set a June 7 court date on Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman’s motion to expedite the trial over his ouster from the board of National Amusements Inc.

Dauman is seeking to be reinstated to the board and to the family trust of Sumner Redstone, who holds 80% of the voting stock of Viacom and CBS. Dauman is pushing for a trial to take place no later than four months from now.

Meanwhile, Standard & Poors issued a statement Friday criticizing Dauman for waging a legal fight over the trust, and downgrading its opinion of Viacom’s governance. The ratings agency specifically faulted the independent directors of Viacom, who it said had not fulfilled their responsibility to supervise the company’s senior management in the interests of all stakeholders.

“Whatever the merits of the lawsuit (or defenses to it) this situation in our view arises from a long dysfunctional relationship between the key litigants especially as that relates to coherent succession planning by the Viacom board of directors,” S&P said.

The developments came as the directors of Viacom are bracing for their ouster, possibly as early as today.

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