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Paramount Global to merge with Skydance Media


The tumultuous love affair between National Amusements and Skydance Media, the parent company of Paramount Global, has resumed in less than a month. Merger talks end,

Paramount, owner of the Paramount Pictures movie and television studio, the CBS television network and CBS News, announced in a news release that it is merging with Skydance, an entertainment business founded by David Ellison, the son of Oracle founder Larry Ellison. Paramount also owns the Paramount+ streaming service, Nickelodeon, BET, MTV, Comedy Central and other media brands.

The deal resolves months of speculation over the future of Paramount, which reportedly also received a $26 billion bid from a consortium including Sony Pictures and private equity firm Apollo Global Management. Several prominent executives in the media and entertainment industry have also expressed interest in a potential Paramount deal.

Under the terms of the latest deal, Skydance will pay $2.4 billion for National Amusements, which controls 77% of Paramount's voting shares, while shareholders with non-voting stock will receive $15 per share, or one share of non-voting stock, in the new company.

The deal gives other potential bidders for Paramount 45 days to submit competing offers, in an apparent attempt to appease shareholders who felt Skydance's initial bid undervalued their stake in the media company.

Uniting Old and New Hollywood

The deal combines Paramount with a relative newcomer in the entertainment industry — a legendary film studio dating back to 1912 known for film classics such as “Titanic,” “The Godfather” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” as well as franchises such as “Star Trek” and “Mission Impossible.” Since David Ellison launched Skydance in 2010, the company has produced or co-produced hit films and TV shows including “Top Gun: Maverick” and the “Reacher” streaming series.

For National Amusements' controlling shareholder Shari Redstone, the deal ends her family's long-standing leadership of Paramount, which was built on a foundation laid by her late father, entertainment tycoon Sumner Redstone. In recent years, that effort has been focused on growing Paramount's streaming footprint as well as the continued expansion of its core network TV, cable and movie businesses.

In its most recent quarter, Paramount reported an operating loss of $417 million on revenue of $7.6 billion, compared with a loss of $1.2 billion on revenue of $7.2 billion in the same period last year. Privately owned Skydance expects its annual revenue to reach $1 billion in 2024, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The merger with Skydance follows a delicate negotiation in which Paramount executives tried to balance the interests of investors who own the company's voting shares – which are largely controlled by Redstone – and investors with non-voting stock. The latter are represented by large institutional investors such as Berkshire Hathaway and Vanguard, according to financial data firm FactSet.

This merger has taken place following the following: Departure on 29 April The CEO Office was led by three division heads, replacing former Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish: George Cheeks, chairman and CEO of CBS; Chris McCarthy, chairman and CEO of Showtime and MTV Entertainment Studios; and Brian Robbins, chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon.

After the initial deal to combine National Amusements and Skydance Demolished on June 11Paramount's new leadership revealed plans to cut costs by $500 million, explore joint ventures or other potential partnerships for Paramount+, and sell off non-core assets. It's uncertain how this blueprint might change under Skydance's watch.

The sale of Paramount also highlights the ongoing consolidation in the media sector, as giants such as Paramount and CBS seek to compete with much larger competitors, including technology and entertainment companies.

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