Paramount Global’s trio of CEOs to lay out plans for the future

Discussions about Paramount’s future come against a backdrop of sale negotiations that could dramatically alter the company’s trajectory. In April, Paramount entered into exclusive merger talks with Skydance, but allowed that period of exclusivity to lapse as it evaluated a rival non-binding offer letter from Sony Pictures Entertainment and Apollo Global Management.

Under the terms of the latest offer from Skydance, Paramount would acquire the independent studio in an all-stock transaction valued at $4.75bn, according to one person familiar with the negotiations.

Skydance and its deal partners, RedBird Capital and KKR, would infuse Paramount with at least $1.5bn in fresh capital to be used to pay down debt, and offer to purchase 40% of Paramount’s nonvoting class B stock at $15 a share, the source said.

Skydance, in a related transaction, would acquire privately held National Amusements, which owns movie theaters in the US, UK and Latin America, and holds 77% of Paramount’s class A voting stock, representing the Redstone family’s controlling interest in the company.

That $2bn deal would give Skydance CEO David Ellison voting control over the larger media company, setting the stage for the merger.

Paramount has shed about $18bn in market value since December 2019, when Redstone reunited two halves of the family’s media empire, CBS and Viacom. Like other media companies, Paramount’s fortunes waned as the traditional television business declined while the streaming video service it launched to capture audiences has yet to recover lost revenue.

National Amusements has said it is reviewing terms of the Skydance offer, as well as two other bids for the privately held movie theater operator.

As of Monday night, Redstone had not reached a decision, according to a source familiar with the matter.


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