UPDATED: Viacom’s board of directors was meeting Thursday evening to discuss a possible settlement of the corporation’s feud with its controlling shareholder — Sumner Redstone — an agreement that was expected to lead to the departure of CEO Philippe Dauman, several sources confirmed.
Settlement talks between Viacom, Redstone, 93, and other parties intensified in recent days in anticipation of a Sept. 19 trial over the makeup of a panel that holds Redstone’s shares in Viacom. The billionaire faced the prospect of a potentially challenging, and embarrassing, deposition and inquiries into his ability to make decisions about a corporate empire valued at $40 billion.
The Viacom board continued to meet as sundown approached on the East Coast — considering a series of agreements that would end three lawsuits over who should control the conglomerate, which owns Nickelodeon, VH1 and Paramount Studios. Those discussing settlement talks have chosen to remain anonymous because the negotiations are confidential.
Variety and other news outlets previously reported that Dauman could receive a severance package of $85 million, after nearly a decade atop Viacom. A likely replacement as interim CEO is the company’s chief operating officer, Thomas Dooley.
Viacom and other parties involved in the litigation did not respond immediately to a request for comment.