By Joe Flint

CBS Corp. has retained banks Moelis & Co. and Goldman Sachs to advise the company on a possible merger with Viacom Inc., according to a person familiar with the situation.

National Amusements Inc., 93-year-old media mogul Sumner Redstone's holding company, controls both Viacom and CBS and has asked the two companies to examine a possible combination. Viacom and CBS merged in 2000 and split apart again in 2006.

Both Viacom and CBS boards have created special committees to review a possible reunion. The CBS committee engaged Lazard as its financial adviser, while Viacom's panel hired Morgan Stanley, Allen & Co. and LionTree Advisors LLC as financial advisers and Debevoise & Plimpton as its legal advisers.

Viacom's management hasn't hired and doesn't plan to hire any financial or legal advisers apart from those hired by its board's special committee, according to people familiar with the matter.

The law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, which has long served as CBS's outside counsel, is also advising the company on Viacom.

"It's not even the second inning yet," CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves told analysts last week on the company's third-quarter earnings call, when asked about the merger exploration process. "We are still in the very early stages."

He added that a merger could be attractive if structured properly and in the best interest of CBS shareholders.

--Keach Hagey contributed to this article.

Write to Joe Flint at Dow Jones Newswires

November 07, 2016 17:54 ET (22:54 GMT)

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