There was a lot of talk about a potential merger between Paramount and Warner Bros. Discovery. This was a surprise to many observers. Others said it was highly unlikely but could have been a stalking horse, leaked to the wider world to drive other interested parties into action. Specifically, Universal, long rumored as a potential purchaser of Warner Bros.
One other party has emerged, but not one that is looking in the direction of Warner Bros. Financier David Ellison has instead got eyes for Paramount.
He has reportedly made a preliminary offer to buy National Amusements Inc., which is the holding company of the Redstone family. This means he would take control of Paramount Global in the deal, and according to the reports in Bloomberg he is looking to merge that with his Skydance Media operation. National Amusements Inc. controls 77% of Paramount’s voting stock, so this could push through an acquisition or merger.
Ellison’s Skydance is the production house behind the recent Star Trek movies, Mission: Impossible, and Top Gun: Maverick. Through this, they have been delivering content to Paramount for years.
According to the reports, both sides have exchanged preliminary financial information and have hired advisers to explore the proposition further.
Ellison would reportedly finance the deal in conjunction with his father Larry Ellison, of Oracle fame. Paramount’s stock market value is now around $9 billion whereas Skydance is at around $4 billion, so Ellison will need Private Equity support as well as his own deep pockets, and Pops’.
Paramount has been struggling lately, with some underperforming tentpole releases and Paramount+ growth stalling.
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