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Paramount agrees to merger with Skydance

Paramount Global and Skydance Media have reached a deal to merge the two media companies together, according to a Sunday joint statement.

The proposed merger comes after reports of renewed talks between the two companies emerged earlier in the month and after months of interest from various potential bidders.

Paramount Global and David Ellison’s Skydance Media said the merger will occur in two steps.

According to the companies, the Skydance Investor Group will pay $2.4 billion for National Amusements Inc, the company through which Shari Redstone controls Paramount.

The proposed deal also involves the Ellison family and a RedBird Capital Partners-led group investing a maximum of $6 billion in cash or shares to non-NAI stockholders and in “additional capital to paydown debt and re-capitalize the balance sheet” of the so-called “New Paramount,” according to Paramount and Skydance’s announcement.

The two companies pegged the enterprise value of New Paramount at about $28 billion.

“Our hope is that the Skydance transaction will enable Paramount’s continued success in this rapidly changing environment,” Redstone said in a statement. “As a longtime production partner to Paramount, Skydance knows Paramount well and has a clear strategic vision and the resources to take it to its next stage of growth.”

The companies said they hope to “re-imagine the Company’s operating model, transform its technological platform, streamline its organization and accelerate other initiatives already underway” through the merger.

“We are committed to energizing the business and bolstering Paramount with contemporary technology, new leadership and a creative discipline that aims to enrich generations to come,” Ellison said.

He will lead “New Paramount” as its CEO post-merger, Paramount and Skydance said. The merged entity will also have RedBird’s Jeff Shell as president.

The proposed merger has already received approval from National Amusements, Paramount’s special committee and its board of directors.

The companies said they aim to complete the deal in the first half of 2025 provided that it receives necessary regulatory approvals and that Paramount does not find a different deal during the 45-day “go-shop” period it has.

“There can be no assurance that this process will result in a superior proposal, and Paramount does not intend to disclose developments with respect to the go-shop process unless and until it determines such a disclosure is appropriate or is otherwise required,” the announcement said of the “go-shop” period.

The Redstone family’s control of Paramount through National Amusements has spanned some 30 years.

Paramount’s Class B shares posted a nearly 5% drop on Monday amid news of the proposed merger. Fox Business

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