Sumner Redstone’s daughter Shari Redstone said May 15 that CBS Corp. cannot legally dilute the 94-year-old’s shareholder control.

The comment came in response to reports that CBS Corp. management has threatened to use what has become known as the nuclear option to nullify Sumner Redstone’s controlling stake. The move would depend on invoking part of a company charter that would give each and every CBS shareholder a vote.

The gambit was presented in a lawsuit CBS filed on May 14 in Delaware state court against National Amusements, the holding company run by Shari Redstone that currently has controlling stakes in CBS and Viacom Corp.

CBS executives, including President Leslie Moonves, don’t want CBS and Viacom to merge, an idea that Shari Redstone supports and which would consolidate the family’s wealth.

Sumner Redstone has a net worth of $4.3 billion, according to Los Angeles Business Journal tabulations, the lion’s share of which come from his CBS and Viacom stock holdings. The media titan cannot speak, and his daughter has taken control over the company holdings.

Media and entertainment reporter Matthew Blake can be reached at (323)556-8332 or

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