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Mario Gabelli wants same price for paramount voting shares that shari redstone got

Investor Mario Gabelli said he was impressed by Skydance Media’s presentation about how it plans to buy and transform Paramount Global–but he has questions about how much Skydance is paying for the voting shares that control Paramount.

Gabelli and his clients own about 12.5% of the Class A shares of Paramount, the biggest block other than those held by National Amusements, the Redstone family holding company, headed by Shari Redstone.

As part of the deal to acquire Paramount, Skydance agreed to pay $1.75 billion for National Amusements and pegged the enterprise value of that company at $2.4 billion. It didn’t specify how much per share Redstone is getting for the Class A stock National Amusements owns.

It is proposing to buy out other Class A Paramount shareholders for $23 a share, but Gabelli isn’t sure he wants to sell until he knows more about the terms.

“I don’t know if I want to get taken out. Why can’t I keep the voting stock?,” he told Broadcasting+Cable.

“If I can’t [hold onto the shares], why shouldn’t I get the same price she’s getting,” asked Gabelli, who favored Sumner Redstone when he was bidding for Paramount Pictures against Barry Diller in 1994.

In earlier versions of the deal Skydance would have paid for National Amusements and give nothing to Paramount’s publicly held Class B shares. Now those shareholders are being offered $15 for some of their shares.

Before getting to that point, Gabelli noted that the deal includes a 45 day “go shop” period that will enable other companies to top Skydance’s offer for Paramount.

Media moguls are congregating at an annual conference in Sun Valley this week and someone there might pay attention now that this deal is on the table, he said.

But Gabelli said that Skydance’s presentation to analysts and investors Monday morning was “a good presentation and it goes to show what they can bring to the table.” Yahoo

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