NA to sell $400 mil of Viacom, CBS stock

Redstone's company needs to pay down debt

Not even media and entertainment pioneers like Sumner Redstone are immune from the current credit crisis.

His National Amusements, the company that holds his stakes in CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc., said Friday it will sell about $400 million in non-voting shares of those companies to pay down debt and comply with credit covenants.

Observers said NA likely had waited to refinance its credit lines in the hopes the market would improve.

The firm's lenders seem to have wanted a quick fix though.

A unit of NA will sell the CBS and Viavom non-voting shares. It holds 46.8 million Class A voting and 23.4 million Class B non-voting shares in Viacom. It also holds the same amount of Class A shares in CBS and 39.8 million of Class B CBS shares.

Redstone didn't immediately comment.

The news came as CBS and Viacom reduced their 2008 outlook amid a sluggish U.S. economy that is hurting their ad revenue momentum.
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