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Redstone's Christmas Gift: Extended Debt Deadline

Sumner Redstone
AP
Sumner Redstone

Friday, December 19th was the deadline for Sumner Redstone's National Amusements theater chain to pay down $800 million in debt. Merry Christmas Sumner: the deadline to pay that debt has been extended while the company makes progress negotiating with the lending banks.

But the holidays always come with plenty of familial tension and it's only heightened for the Redstone clan this year. Sumner and his daughter Shari, who runs National Amusements, are clashing about what to do with the theaters.

National Amusements is weighing selling its theater chain to generate the cash to pay its debt, but Shari is opposing the sale of the theaters, pushing Redstone to consider selling other assets. But Redstone has made it clear he's not interested in giving up his voting stake in CBS or Viacom . After breaching terms of loans Redstone was forced to sell $233 million in shares of both companies and he vowed he wouldn't sell either companies shares again. Needless to say, this puts father and daughter at loggerheads. And this hasn't been the first time they've fought over the theaters-- daughter has faith in the theaters and wants to expand, the father opposes.

Now that the Redstones got their Christmas wish they're stuck dealing with the lump of coal: how to get themselves out of this deep debt. And getting father and daughter to agree would take a Christmas miracle.

    • National Amusements extends debt deadline
    • Viacom to Cut Workforce by 7 Percent

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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.