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Redstone's National Amusements to sell stocks to reduce debt

National Amusements Inc, the family-controlled cinema and broadcasting company, announced today it is to sell $945 million worth of stocks in order to repay all of its existing debts.
 
The company, controlled by 86-year-old Sumner Redstone (pictured), has said it will sell approximately £600 million worth of Viacom stocks and $345 million in CBS, along with other non-core assets. National Amusements will retain a controlling stake in the two businesses and "retain full ownership of all of its theatre assets in the UK and Brazil and its core theatre assets in the United States," the statement said.
 
"As a result of our actions, National Amusements will be out of debt with its existing creditors and will still control its most important assets," said second-generation chairman and CEO Redstone. "We believe in the significant, long-term value of Viacom and CBS, both of which are well positioned for growth in this improving economic environment."
 
Previous to this announcement, the company had been attempting to sell several theatres in order to reduce debts but a rise in the share price of both Viacom and CBS has allowed Redstone to raise money in a stock sale instead.
 
Redstone owns National Amusements, the business founded by his father, with his daughter Shari. However, he has hit the headlines many times for public family feuds, including one with his daughter in 2007. He was in court in July being sued by his nephew and has been divorced twice in 2002 and 2008. (Click here to read our coverage of the Redstone family)

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