April 6, 2018 / 10:19 PM / a year ago

CBS nominates former Time Warner CEO to its board amid Viacom talks

FILE PHOTO: Richard Parsons speaks during a news conference at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California May 12, 2014. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian

(Reuters) - CBS Corp (CBS.N) said on Friday it nominated Richard Parsons, a former chairman of Citigroup Inc (C.N) and Time Warner Inc TWX.N as an independent director, as the company renews its push to merge with Viacom Inc (VIAB.O).

If elected, Parsons would be the board's 14th member and 10th independent director, the company said. (bit.ly/2qd7eUj)

Parsons, 70, led Time Warner as chief executive officer from 2002 to 2007 and as chairman from 2003 to 2009. He has also served as chairman of Citigroup and as an interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers. He currently works as a senior adviser at private equity firm Providence Equity Partners LLC.

Parsons’ nomination comes as Shari Redstone, who with her father Sumner Redstone controls both CBS and Viacom, pushes to recombine the media giants after failing in an attempt to do so in 2016.

Shari Redstone had been gathering names of possible candidates for CBS’s board, as the company plans on replacing several of its directors at its annual shareholder meeting in May, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal in January.

In March, CBS made a verbal offer for Viacom valuing it at below its market value of around $12.5 billion, sources told Reuters.

On Wednesday, however, sources told Reuters that Viacom was preparing a counterproposal to CBS’s first share exchange offer, which it deemed inadequate.

“Mr. Parsons brings to the board significant leadership expertise from his roles at global financial and media companies, including extensive experience in various executive officer positions and as legal counsel,” CBS said in a filing on Friday.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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