We have been talking about it for weeks. Paramount and Skydance are deep into negotiations about Skydance taking control. However the exclusivity window has closed, so it is open season. Sony is straight out of the gate.

The Wall Street Journal says Sony Pictures Entertainment and Apollo Global Management have pounced as soon as the window closed and they have tabled an offer to buy Paramount. It is a strong offer.

Sony

It is an all-cash buyout at $26 billion and would mean they take on the debt. It is over Paramount’s current valuation of $22 billion. Paramount is known to favor the Skydance deal, but the shareholders may well have the final say. The board could recommend the rejection of the Sony proposal. Apollo Global already had a solo deal rejected once and teamed up with Sony to go again.

The Paramount Global CEO was removed earlier this week. If shareholders do plump for Sony the studio landscape will have shifted massively in the last few years. The big players of Disney, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Warner Bros., Sony, Paramount, and MGM will have been reduced to just five: Disney, Sony, Warner Bros. Discovery, Amazon-MGM, and Universal.

Rumors also swirl of a Universal move, possibly to combine with Warner Bros. Discovery, which could take it down to just four. Universal and Warner Bros. have a good relationship through their theme park IP link ups.

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