Paramount Global — home to storied Hollywood studio Paramount Pictures, CBS and cable networks like MTV — has discussed entering exclusive talks with Skydance, according to a report.

Entering exclusive talks could push along the protracted deal between media mogul Shari Redstone, who owns a controlling interest in the media giant through her stake in National Amusements, and Skydance, which has produced blockbusters like “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning,” “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” and “Top Gun: Maverick” for Paramount, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Late last month Skydance boss David Ellison, the son of Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison, met with Paramount’s independent board to discuss his vision for a deal, sources told The Times.

The deal being discussed would reportedly involve Skydance’s buying National Amusements and merging with Paramount.

Paramount’s board of directors is hoping to ink a deal for the entire company — which also includes the Paramount+ streaming channel — rather than sell its assets separately, according to the outlet.

Another sticking point could be fears of a possible lawsuit from Paramount’s common shareholders if a sale is approved, Fox Business reporter and New York Post columnist Charles Gasparino reported Wednesday.

Reps for Paramount and Skydance declined to comment.

Other investors have also been circling Paramount. Last month, private equity firm Apollo Global Management made an $11 billion offer to acquire Paramount’s movie and TV studio.

Apollo continues to evaluate what proposal may appeal the most to Paramount’s board, The Times reported.

Byron Allen, whose Entertainment Studios owns the Weather Channel, has also expressed interest in acquiring Paramount.

Redstone, the daughter of the late media mogul Sumner Redstone, began negotiating last year with Skydance to sell her 80% stake in National Amusements, through which she controls Paramount.

Redstone has held off on a sale for years in the hopes that Paramount’s balance sheet would improve and that its streaming service would take off, but the competitive landscape — which includes giants like Netflix and Disney+, has proved challenging.

Paramount’s stock has fallen 18% since the start of the year and is trading at a steep discount to the combined value of Viacom and CBS, which merged to form Paramount in 2019. The company had $14.6 billion in long-term debt at year’s end, Bloomberg reported last month.

Meanwhile, Paramount+ is still bleeding money but its losses have slowed as it adds subscribers.

The company faced another blow last week when ratings agency S&P downgraded its debt to junk last week, citing “accelerating declines” in its traditional TV business and continued uncertainty in its push toward streaming. 

One silver lining that has emerged due to the downgrade is that Paramount might be easier to acquire as a buyer could work around a provision that would require them to immediately pay the company’s debt, analysts said.

Share.
2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.