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ViacomCBS shares slide 18% after company prices roughly $3 billion offering of equity securities

Ciara Linnane

ViacomCBS took advantage of the recent rally in its stock to issue new securities

ViacomCBS Inc. shares tumbled 18% Wednesday, after the media and entertainment giant priced a roughly $3 billion offering of equity securities to raise the funds to invest in its new streaming service.

Paramount+ launched on March 4 and is now competing with heavy hitters, including Netflix Inc. (NFLX), Disney+ (DIS) and the new HBO Max (T).

ViacomCBS shares (VIAC) have been on a tear and closed at a record of $100.34 on Monday, marking a 12th record close (link)so far this month. The stock has gained 98% in the year to date, and the company took advantage to issue new securities.

The company priced $20 million shares of its Class B common stock at $85 a share, and priced 10 million shares of its 5.75% mandatory convertible preferred stock at $100 a share.

Underwriters led by Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Mizuho Securities and Siebert Williams Shank have the option to purchase up to an additional 3 million Class B shares and up to an additional 1.5 million shares of mandatory convertible preferred stock. The company expects to raise $3.06 billion if both options are exercised.

See: (link)Disney+ tops 100 million paid subscribers (link)

Related:Disney earnings: Surge by Disney+ to nearly 95 million subscriptions leads to surprise profit (link)

The company is planning to apply to list the mandatory convertible preferred stock on Nasdaq, under the ticker "VIACP."

Paramount+ has two subscription tiers; one with advertising that costs $4.99 a month and a premium version with some extra programming that costs $9.99.

Don't miss:What will streaming bring in 2021? Here are 5 developments to watch (link)

Paramount Studios has joined other major Hollywood studios in slashing the traditional 90-day theatrical window, the period during which films are exclusively shown in cinemas before they head to streaming services. The company will send new releases, including ""Mission: Impossible 7" and "A Quiet Place Part II," to Paramount+, after 45 days in theaters, as the Associated Press reported. (link)

ViacomCBS has also struck a deal with Epix to add thousands of films to the service. On the television side, the big series will be the revival of "Frasier" with Kelsey Grammer, series based on movies such as "The Italian Job," "Flashdance" and "Fatal Attraction"; revivals of "Criminal Minds" and 'Reno 911!"; a weekly show from "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah; and a bolstered Nickelodeon lineup, including "Avatar: The Last Airbender" spinoffs, a "Rugrats" revival, and live-action adaptations of "Dora the Explorer" and "Fairly OddParents."

Read now: Why cinema will survive the coronavirus pandemic (link)

-Ciara Linnane; 415-439-6400;


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03-24-21 1432ET

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