Viacom Inc. has launched its stock split-off of Blockbuster Inc.
The multimedia company plans to divest itself of all of its 81.5% interest in the video store chain by offering its shareholders a tax-free swap of five-plus shares of Blockbuster stock (5.15 shares to be exact), for every share of Viacom stock tendered.
To sweeten the pot, each of their Viacom shares will be valued at about an 18% premium over their closing price of $34.60 on Sept. 7, 2004.
The exchange runs until Oct. 5.
When the spin-off was announced in June, Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone said the move would allow the company to concentrate on its many "content-creation engines."