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Viacom Confirms Major Tax Benefits From Harmonix Sale, Lawsuit Defense

Viacom Confirms Major Tax Benefits From Harmonix Sale, Lawsuit Defense

April 28, 2011 | By Frank Cifaldi




Viacom generated a tax benefit of approximately $115 million dollars with the sale of Guitar Hero and Rock Band creator Harmonix, according to its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

When Viacom sold the developer for the surprising sum of $49.99 late last year, it was widely reported that it had done so in order to reap a major tax benefit for closing a sale by the end of 2010. With this figure officially revealed, this appears to have been the case.

Of the $115 million, the company expects $45 million to be realized as a cash refund on previously paid taxes, with the remaining $70 million available to offset future taxes.

In addition, the company said it will "vigorously defend" itself in the lawsuit filed against it by former Harmonix shareholders last year and amended in January and March 2011, saying that the company "believes the plaintiffs position in these proceedings is without merit."

Viacom acquired Harmonix in 2006 for an initial sum of $175 million, and additionally sent its shareholders $150 million in anticipation of earn-out payments for 2007, which it has since tried to get back.

For more information on the history of Viacom's Harmonix acquisition and subsequent lawsuit, see our extensive report.


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