Paramount Ends Merger Talks With Skydance

Shari Redstone had not signed on to the deal
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2024 6:30 PM CDT
Updated Jun 12, 2024 5:47 PM CDT
Paramount Agrees to Merger Terms
Striking actors picket outside Paramount Pictures studio on Nov. 3 in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
UPDATE Jun 12, 2024 5:47 PM CDT

The majority owner of Paramount Global said it has ended merger talks with Skydance Media. National Amusements said in a statement only that the entertainment giant and the movie production company "have not been able to reach mutually acceptable terms," the AP reports. The major missing piece had been approval by Paramount's controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone. Paramount has been struggling, especially as its cable business declines. One analyst's rote to investors said the company now is left with the same problems and few prospects for fresh cash to help turn itself around.

Jun 3, 2024 6:30 PM CDT

After months of negotiations and competing offers, Paramount Global has agreed to a deal that would take it off the market. A committee set up by the media conglomerate has settled on merger terms with David Ellison's Skydance Media and his private-equity backers, Variety reports. The agreement is waiting on a decision by Shari Redstone, Paramount's non-executive chair; her National Amusements Inc. owns 77% of the conglomerate's voting shares. Redstone's approval would end her family's control of Paramount.

Redstone would receive $2 billion for National Amusements under the multipronged agreement. In the end, Skydance and RedBird would own two-thirds of Paramount; class B shareholders would own the rest. Skydance improved its offer last week, per the Wall Street Journal, which includes an infusion of $1.5 billion in cash to deal with Paramount's debt. The deal has jumped from a valuation of $5 billion to $8 billion. Paramount's annual shareholders meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, and Variety reports an announcement is not likely until after that. And all terms are not yet nailed down. Redstone has been looking for a deal that keeps Paramount in one piece, per CNBC. (More Paramount stories.)

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