Life & Style

Paramount, Skydance reach merger deal: reports

Published July 4, 2024
U.S. actor Tom Cruise arrives at the premiere of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ in London. Photo: Reuters
U.S. actor Tom Cruise arrives at the premiere of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ in London. Photo: Reuters

NEW YORK: Entertainment giant Paramount Global and movie studio Skydance have reached a merger deal, just a few weeks after breaking off their negotiations, US media reported Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the talks.

Despite calling off talks in June right before a scheduled vote on the merger, the two sides rekindled their discussions, according to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and CNBC.

The terms of the deal will now be reviewed by a special committee of Paramount board members, which had been tasked with evaluating strategic options for the company, the reports said.

Entertainment industry news outlet Deadline reported that the parties have agreed to a 45-day “go shop” period, during which other Paramount bidders can make offers.

Shares in Paramount – the parent company of CBS, MTV and Nickelodeon – rose 7.93 percent in after-hours trading on news of the deal.

In early April, US media said Paramount and Skydance had entered exclusive talks, after Paramount rejected a $26 billion takeover offer from investment giant Apollo Global Management.

But the negotiations faltered in mid-June when National Amusements, the controlling shareholder in Paramount owned by Shari Redstone, left the table.

According to Deadline, the privately held Skydance Media – led by David Ellison, the son of billionaire Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison – has agreed to pay $1.75 billion for National Amusements (NAI).

That would bring NAI under Skydance ahead of a full merger with Paramount.

Other reports indicated the total price could reach $2.2 billion.

Paramount and Skydance co-produced the 2022 Tom Cruise blockbuster ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ which raked in nearly $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office, according to Box Office Mojo.

Seen as the smallest of the power players in the world of television and streaming, Paramount Global has been courted for months, with Netflix among those expressing interest.

Paramount’s streaming platform, which was launched in March 2021, had 71 million subscribers in late March.

Formerly known as ViacomCBS, Paramount Global’s holdings also include Comedy Central, as well as Paramount’s film and television studios.

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