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Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholder of Paramount, is moving closer to selling her media empire. Paramount, home to Hollywood’s iconic movie studio and various CBS and cable networks, is in talks with media company Skydance for a potential deal. Skydance is discussing entering into exclusive talks with Paramount, marking a significant step forward in a process that has been uncertain for months. However, other investors, such as Apollo Global Management and Byron Allen, are also pursuing Paramount, with Apollo submitting an $11 billion offer for the movie studio.

Ms. Redstone has been negotiating with Skydance to sell her stake in the company, controlled through her holding company National Amusements. The potential deal being discussed involves Skydance buying National Amusements and merging with Paramount, pending approval from Paramount’s board. David Ellison, founder of Skydance, recently met with Paramount’s board committee to share his vision for the deal. Skydance, founded in 2010, is known for producing hit movies like those in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise.

Paramount’s stock has dropped by 18% since the beginning of the year due to challenges in the media industry. The company’s stock is trading at a discount compared to its parent company ViacomCBS, which merged to form Paramount in 2019. Although Paramount+ is still operating at a loss, its losses have slowed down and the platform continues to attract subscribers. S&P Global recently downgraded Paramount’s debt to junk status, citing declines in its traditional TV business and uncertainty in its streaming efforts, potentially making it more attractive for acquisition as a result.

The deal discussions between Paramount and Skydance represent a potential turning point for the media company and its future ownership. Other investors like Apollo Global Management and Byron Allen remain in the mix, with Apollo submitting a significant offer for the movie studio. Ms. Redstone’s decision to consider selling her stake in Paramount after years of holding off, showcases her confidence in the potential for Paramount to thrive under new ownership. The outcome of the talks and the eventual buyer for Paramount will have significant implications for the future of the iconic media company.

The current discussions regarding the potential sale of Paramount highlight the complex and competitive landscape of the media industry. Paramount’s board, with the assistance of advisers, has been weighing their options carefully to determine the best path forward. The involvement of multiple investors, each with their own strategies and interests, adds layers of complexity to the negotiations. The final decision on the sale of Paramount will shape the future trajectory of the media company and potentially lead to significant changes in the industry.

As Paramount navigates the challenges of the media industry and seeks a strategic partner for its future growth, the talks with Skydance and other potential buyers underscore the changing dynamics in the entertainment sector. The uncertain economic environment, along with shifts in consumer behavior towards streaming services, is reshaping the media landscape and driving companies like Paramount to explore new ownership structures. The eventual outcome of the deal discussions will not only impact Paramount’s future but also serve as a reflection of the evolving media industry as a whole.

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