Warner Bros. Discovery In Talks With Paramount Global About Possible Merger

Complicating an expected industry-wide streaming media-lead consolidation, Warner Bros. Discovery is now having talks with Paramount Global about a possible merger.

Initial conversations, according to a report from Axios, focused on how both could complement each other when competing with bigger streaming media companies and businesses -- especially Netflix, Amazon and Walt Disney’s Disney+.

Two senior executives of the company -- David Zaslav, chief executive officer of WBD, and Bob Bakish, chief executive officer of Paramount Global, met for several hours at Paramount’s headquarters in Time Square on Tuesday, according to the report. 

Representatives from Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global did not respond by press time for comment to Television News Daily on Wednesday.

Over the last week or so, Paramount stock rose 15% on the news that Skydance Media -- an on-the-Paramount lot producer of major movies and TV shows, and RedBird Capital Partners, an investment firm -- have looking at buying a majority stake in National Amusement Inc., the controlling business of Paramount Global.

News of the possible WBD-Paramount merger talks broke just as the stock market was nearing its Wednesday closing. 

Paramount stock was down 2% on the day to close at $15.50. After-market activity showed the stock rising briefly to $15.82 before trending down 0.6% to $15.41.  Warner Bros. Discovery closed down 6% on Wednesday to $11.66.

Warner Bros. has a market capitalization of $28.4 billion, while Paramount Global comes in at about third of that, at $10.4 billion.

1 comment about "Warner Bros. Discovery In Talks With Paramount Global About Possible Merger".
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  1. Tim B from Retired Inc, December 21, 2023 at 1:51 p.m.

    It’s difficult to predict whether Warner Bros. Discovery can maintain its free cash flow goals without a stock deal for Paramount, as it depends on various factors such as the company’s revenue growth, gross leverage, and merger-driven charges.

    Warner Bros. Discovery has recently tied bonuses for CEO David Zaslav and his team to free cash flow performance, which is expected to help limit downside and deliver high free cash flow

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