CBS shares plunge after judge says Redstone can challenge voting control plan

CBS Corp. shares plunged more than 6 percent Thursday after a Delaware judge ruled in favor of National Amusements’ bid to challenge a voting-control plan.

National Amusements is controlled by the Redstone family, which has been trying to merge CBS and Viacom, both of which fall under its umbrella. But CBS and Viacom have not been able to come to terms on some aspects of the merger.

CBS was trying to cut National Amusement’s voting power in time for a special meeting of its board on Thursday in order to prevent a forced merger with Viacom.

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Pedestrians walk by the CBS headquarters building in New York.

Judge rules in favor of National Amusements in CBS lawsuit    8 Mins Ago | 06:21

The ruling Thursday morning by Chancellor Andre Bouchard would allow Shari Redstone and National Amusements to block a special dividend that would have cut their voting power.

“We are pleased by the court’s decision to deny CBS and its special committee’s unprecedented motion to try to deprive a shareholder of its fundamental voting rights,” National Amusements said in a statement on Thursday.

CBS said it would still hold its meeting later Thursday afternoon. “Today’s ruling does not alter in any way the unyielding commitment of CBS and its Board of Directors to continue to act in and to protect the best interests of all CBS shareholders,” it said in a statement.