Paramount Special Committee Approves Sale to Skydance Media

By Chanak Maduranga

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Paramount Special Committee Approves Sale to Skydance Media
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A consortium led by David Ellison’s Skydance is nearing the finish line on its new deal to acquire Paramount Global.

According to sources, Paramount’s special committee has signed off on the refreshed deal from Skydance, RedBird Capital and other investors.

A month ago, of course, Skydance was close to sealing the deal, but Shari Redstone — who controls Paramount through her family’s National Amusements holding company — nixed the agreement at the last moment before the special committee voted on the deal.

With approval of the committee, the deal is likely to move forward (the full board still needs to sign off, one source says, and Redstone could always back away once more). But there is a catch this time around. Unlike the last agreement, a source says that the deal includes a “go-shop” provision, which would allow NAI or Paramount a set period to see if a better offer emerges.

Other potential buyers that have circled Paramount have included a consortium of Sony and the private equity firm Apollo, as well as producer Steven Paul, Barry Diller and his IAC holding company, and Seagrams heir Edgar Bronfman Jr. It is not clear if any of the other bidders will be able to top Skydance’s offer.

Since Skydance’s last deal fell apart, Paramount’s Office of the CEO — comprised of Chris McCarthy, Brian Robbins and George Cheeks — have told staff that they are already executing on their strategic plan, which consists of changing the company’s streaming strategy to speed up its profitability, reducing costs and divesting some noncore businesses.

But the trio also warned staff at a town hall late last month that the deal talks were unlikely to subside.

“Before we begin today’s presentation, we’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the challenges of all the M&A speculation surrounding our company,” Robbins told the audience of employees. “We know what a difficult and disruptive period it has been. And while we cannot say that the noise will disappear, we are here today to lay out a go-forward plan that can set us up for success no matter what path the company chooses to go down.”

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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