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Autumn of the Patriarch: Sumner Redstone needs cash

Sumner Redstone, 86-old controlling shareholder of Viacom and CBS (a really juicy collection of media assets comprising CBS, Simon & Schuster, MTV, BET, Paramount and DreamWorks, to name a few) is reportedly in a cash squeeze and being forced to sell almost $600 million in Viacom stock and $345 million in CBS. Redstone controls Viacom and CBS through National Amusements, the original movie theatre distribution company he inherited from his father and then built into the third-biggest media conglomerate in the US. In the process of expansion, National Amusements accumulated debt that has now come to haunt the ageing tycoon.

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