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Paramount and Skydance strike $4.75 billion merger deal

Paramount Global’s parent company, National Amusements, and Skydance Media have agreed to merge, despite having ended merger discussions less than a month ago. Paramount, which owns Paramount Pictures, CBS, and various media brands, announced the merger with Skydance, founded by David Ellison, son of Oracle founder Larry Ellison.

The deal, which addresses speculation about Paramount’s future, follows a $26 billion bid from Sony Pictures and Apollo Global Management. Skydance will first purchase National Amusements for $2.4 billion, gaining control of 77% of Paramount’s voting shares. Non-voting shareholders will receive $15 per share or one non-voting share in the new company. Class A shareholders will receive $23 per share or 1.5333 non-voting shares. Paramount will then merge with Skydance in a deal valuing Skydance at $4.75 billion. Competitors have 45 days to submit alternative offers. The merger is pending regulatory approval.

This merger unites Paramount, known for classics like ‘Titanic’ and ‘The Godfather,’ with Skydance, a newer company behind hits like ‘Top Gun: Maverick.’ David Ellison will become Paramount’s chairman and CEO, and Jeff Shell, former NBCUniversal CEO, will be president. Shari Redstone, who controls National Amusements, emphasised continuing her father Sumner Redstone’s legacy and ensuring Paramount’s future amid industry changes.

Negotiations balanced the interests of voting shareholders, controlled by Redstone, and non-voting shareholders like Berkshire Hathaway and Vanguard. Following the failed merger talks in June, Paramount had announced cost-cutting measures and plans for partnerships or asset sales. Skydance and RedBird identified $2 billion in potential savings.

Paramount reported a $417 million loss on $7.6 billion revenue last quarter, while Skydance expects $1 billion in annual revenue in 2024. The merger is part of ongoing media industry consolidation as companies like Paramount and CBS compete with larger rivals.

Source: Social Samosa

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