Paramount Global, Skydance To Merge In $8B Deal

After months of drama and multiple buyout proposals, Paramount Global’s board of directors has approved a merger with Skydance Media in a stock and cash transaction valued at nearly $8 billion.

The Skydance Investor Group -- the Ellison Family and RedBird Capital Partners -- will invest $2.4 billion in cash to acquire Paramount-controlling stock owner, National Amusements. 

Currently, National Amusements controls 77% of the voting shares in Paramount. 

Non-National Amusement stockholders -- both the minority Class A and Class B stockholders -- will get $4.5 billion in stock, valued at $15 a share. The shares are non-voting stock in the new company.

Skydance Media is a major movie/TV production company on the Paramount lot founded in 2006 by David Ellison, son of Larry Ellison, co-founder and then-CEO of the Oracle Corporation.



In the yet-to-be-named company, Ellison will be chairman/chief executive officer, and Jeff Shell, a former NBCUniversal chief executive officer, will be president.

The companies also said the merger agreement includes a 45-day "go-shop" period, which permits the Special Committee of the board of directors to seek alternative proposals.

The deal ends National Amusements' decades-long involvement in TV and movie production, and ownership of broadcast and cable TV networks, starting when it bought a controlling share in Viacom in June 1987, under the direction of Sumner Redstone, who was chairman of National Amusements.

In 2000, Viacom bought CBS. Five years later, the combined Viacom and CBS, split into two companies -- CBS Corp. and Viacom. In 2016, Shari Redstone, became president of National Amusements. Three years later, in 2019, CBS and Viacom remerged into two companies. Then in 2022, ViacomCBS, was renamed Paramount Global.

Skydance Media initially became interested in buying National Amusements in January of this year. After a long period of talks and proposals, in mid-June National Amusements said the parties could not reach a deal.

The merger follows the departure of Paramount Global Bob Bakish as chief executive officer in April 29. He was replaced by an "Office of the CEO," which included George Cheeks, Chris McCarthy and Brian Robbins, who each had the title of co-CEO.

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