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Les Moonves Tying Up The Final Details Of The $3 Billion IPO Of CBS’s Outdoor Americas Unit

Moonves, CEO of  CBS expects to raise more than $550 million in one will be a  U.S. initial public offering, described as the latest step in CBS.’s plan to totally spin off their billboard division.

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Les Monves

Les Moonves, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CBS has filed all the necessary paperwork that will finally see the often long delayed initial public offering of shares in their CBS Outdoor Americas Inc. Division.

Once it gets underway, the IPO, which not only  marks a long-planned separation between the company’s divisions, but is also expected to raise as much as $560 million, most of which Moonves is expected to use to finance stock buybacks.

The CBS’s billboard division intend to sell  20 million shares in the division for the price of between $26 to $28 per share, which will mean that CBS will still retain 83 percent of the unit after the IPO has been successfully completed, with 120 million shares outstanding.

Moonves has made no secret that the company intends to convert CBS Outdoor into a real-estate investment trust, (REIT), although the bulk of the income from  the IPO going towards winding up the conversion before the end of this year.

CBS shareholders will ultimately enjoy the benefits of the IPO as once an  REIT has been established, the are no longer liable to  pay federal income taxes, on condition that they distribute at least 90 percent of their taxable income to shareholders in the form of a dividend,  a company structure which has become increasingly popular as a means of improving investor returns.

CBS Outdoor currently operates around 330, 000 advertising displays in the U.S. with just less than half of being situated in and around New York with just 13 percent being in Los Angeles.  Income for the CBS Outdoor division rose by 0.7 percent to $1.3 billion in 2013 while gross profit improved by 27 percent to $143.5 million, equivalent to $1.48 a share.

After successful completion of the IPO, CBS Outdoor a major public their intention to pay a quarterly dividend of 37 cents a share.  In October of last year, CBS sold off the Asian and European divisions of their Outdoor to private equity firm Platinum Equity for the sum of $225 million.


Les Moonves graduated from  Bucknell University, graduating in 1971 with a degree in Spanish.

In his early days in the entertainment business, Moonves kept himself busy as an actor, landing himself back up  rolls  in a few television series during the 70s, playing tough guys on prime-time television shows of that time such as Cannon and The Six Million Dollar Man.

Eventually Moonves decided that the time was right to switch to the other side of the camera, with his first major management role being  in charge of first-run syndication and pay/cable programming at 20th Century Fox Television.

Moonves joined Lorimar Television in 1985 as executive in charge of its movies and mini-series, and in 1988, became head of creative affairs. From 1989 to 1993, he was President at Lorimar. Then in July 1993, he became President/CEO of Warner Bros. Television, when Warner Bros. and Lorimar Television combined operations. While Moonves was president/CEO of Warner Bros. Television, he green-lighted the hit shows Friends and ER, among many others.

On July 1995 , Les Moonves left Warner Bros to become as president of CBS Entertainment.

From April 1998 until 2003, he was President and Chief Executive Officer at CBS Television, then was promoted to Chairman and CEO of CBS in 2003. During this time (2003), CBS became America’s most watched television network, going from last to first.

Among the shows that have given CBS a new lease on life is the CSI franchise and Survivor. CBS had six of the ten most-watched primetime shows in the final quarter of 2005: In February 2005, Moonves was identified as the executive director responsible for ordering the cancellation of  Star Trek: Enterprise as well as wrapping up  the 18-year Star Trek television franchise.

From early 2004, Moonves has made regular contributions to Late Show with David Letterman, with Letterman discussing current events and the CBS network with the company’s CEO.




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