Philippe Dauman Insists Viacom Has ‘No Intention’ of Buying CBS, Selling Paramount

CEO denies any reported interest in selling piece of film company to Chinese investor

Philippe Dauman

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman says his company is not buying CBS, nor selling Paramount Pictures.

“We have no intention of buying CBS or buying any other big company out there,” Dauman said at Monday’s Deutsche Bank 2015 Media, Internet & Telecom Conference. “We have a lot to do to grow organically.”

Years down the road, however, if it makes sense for his shareholder value longterm, the executive admitted that he and his team would reevaluate. For now, “We’ll take a look at it, but we’re not going to be a consolidator,” Dauman insisted.

Without his company’s participation, Dauman believes there will “probably” be some consolidation among programmers in the future — industry chatter that became big news when 21st Century Fox attempted to buy Time Warner.

“I think people are hyperventilating about it a little bit,” he said.

The Rupert Murdoch company has since withdrawn its bid.

Dauman also shot down rumors that Viacom was considering selling Paramount Pictures — or a piece of it, at least — to a Chinese investor.

Dauman called those reports “completely untrue.”

“There’s been no conversation, there will not be any conversation,” he said. “I know the source of that, and it’s not exactly a reliable source in general.”

Still, things are happening internally — and apparently swiftly. The previously reported realignment of Viacom networks will be “largely done by the end of the month,” Dauman said.

Annual net savings from a cost standpoint due to the restructure will be $250 million, Dauman stated, beginning in the second half of 2015. More financial detail will come at the end of this current quarter.

“Apart from the cost side, I think this will… add more energy to the organization,” he concluded on his company’s shift.