James Cameron and Ari Emanuel Offer Support of Skydance-Paramount Bid

By Chanak Maduranga

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James Cameron and Ari Emanuel Offer Support of Skydance-Paramount Bid

Both James Cameron and Ari Emanuel offered their support this weekend of Skydance‘s bid to acquire Paramount.

Though reports earlier this week suggested that Paramount’s special board committee was leaning against accepting Skydance’s offer, Cameron and Emanuel told The Financial Times on Sunday that they supported Skydance founder David Ellison’s potential leadership.

The deal, first offered during a 30-day exclusive negotiating window at the beginning of April, would see Skydance, joined by financial partners RedBird Capital and KKIR, acquire controlling shareholder Shari Redstone’s stake in the company and then merge Skydance into Paramount, keeping it as a publicly traded company, with new leadership at the helm.

“I love the Ellison idea,” Cameron, whose 1997 film Titanic remains one of Paramount’s most successful movies, said. “If he gets . . . to run Paramount creatively, it could be a huge boon for this business in these ailing times. David’s proven himself.”

Emanuel, Endeavor CEO, also saw promise in Ellison’s vision, calling him “a natural acquirer” of the company. “David has a real movie business [with] big franchises,” he said. “Everybody is in business with him — Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Paramount and Disney all have a good relationship with David.” 

Skydance’s negotiating window ended this week just after proposing a revised offer last weekend. Though the window was not extended (nor a deal made), a source close to the deal told The Hollywood Reporter that talks between the sides would continue.

In the meantime, Paramount is also reportedly considering a $26 billion all-cash offer from Apollo and Sony Pictures. Though the status of that deal is not clear, it would carry more regulatory concerns, due to Apollo’s existing ownership of broadcast TV stations, and Sony’s status as a Japanese company.

The negotiations were just one part of a very eventful week for Paramount — the company parted ways with CEO Bob Bakish on Monday, replacing him with Chris McCarthy, George Cheeks and Brian Robbins working in an “office of the CEO.”

“Going forward, we are finalizing a new long-term plan to best position this storied company to reach new and greater heights in our rapidly changing world,” the trio wrote to employees on Monday.

A source said that the executives were prepared to lead the company long-term, confirming that a formal strategic plan would be communicated to staff in the coming weeks.

Chanak Maduranga

passionate journalist behind 'USA News Now 24', dedicated to delivering timely and accurate updates on US affairs. Committed to journalistic integrity and informing audiences with credible news coverage.

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