A Reprieve for Sumner Redstone

Banks appear to be indefinitely extending Redstone's Dec. 19 debt repayment deadline to afford the entertainment mogul time to sell off some assets

It's starting to look like embattled mogul Sumner Redstone will have a reasonably happy—or at least quiet—Hanukkah after all. The 85-year-old majority owner of CBS (CBS) and Viacom (VIAB), who is struggling to restructure $1.6 billion in defaulted debt, won't have to meet a Dec. 19 deadline that many had assumed was imposed by a bank group led by Bank of America (BAC). At this point, according to people with knowledge of the talks, there is no strict deadline by which Redstone must sell assets or otherwise restructure the debt. The various parties, which include more than 50 debt holders and several banks, are expected to continue talks at least through the end of the year.

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