Les Moonves Tells Investors, "We Are Working Towards Separating Our Radio Business'
Notes 'Lots Of Interest From Outside Parties'
May 4, 2016 at 4:44 AM (PT)
YESTERDAY (NET NEWS 5/3), CBS CORP. released Q1 financial info that exceeded analyst expectations with revenues of $3.85 billion, up 10% over the same period last year. Local Broadcasting revenue also rose 28% to $206 million. In a released statement, Chairman/CEO LESLIE MOONVES said, "We are also moving forward with our initiative to separate our radio business, which will unlock value for shareholders and further diversify our revenue streams."
MOONVES expanded on that during an afternoon financial call. He again noted, "We are working towards separating our radio business from the CBS CORP.," and added, "There's been a lot of interest from outside parties. So, we have a number of different options to consider, and we will continue to keep you posted on this important initiative."
Circling back to radio later in the call, MOONVES said, "We are in the process of completing an audit of the standalone financial statements of radio and are preparing a registration statement that we plan to file with the SEC in the JUNE-JULY timeframe." He once again confirmed that CBS believes radio, as, "a standalone public company is the best option available. However, if there is a transaction that can maximize the after tax value of this business in a shorter period of time with a higher degree of certainty, we will pursue that as well."
WELLS FARGO SECURITIES analyst MARCI RYVICKER noted, "The Radio split is coming. CBS is starting to plan for its radio split off/IPO -- similar to the outdoor transaction in 2014. LES and JOE also made a mention of 'other' demand -- inferring there might be some buyers out there. We asked about the potential for dis-synergies with TV post a split -- but it sounds like there's nothing to worry about!"