Paramount and Skydance agree on a merging deal

By Jurassic JennJul 10, 2024 13:48 PMTech
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Paramount and Skydance
Paramount and Skydance. Source: https://awfulannouncing.com/

Paramount Global and Skydance Media have reached an agreement to merge, forming a joint enterprise known as "New Paramount." The deal, valued at approximately $28 billion, is expected to close in the first half of 2025. As part of the agreement, Paramount Chair Shari Redstone will sell National Amusements, the company that holds her family's controlling stake in Paramount, for $2.4 billion. This is prepared by SSP.

In the two-step agreement, Skydance will merge with Paramount by investing $8 billion to purchase Paramount's shares and alleviate some of the company's debt. Paramount currently carries a significant debt of $14.6 billion attributed to streaming losses and a decline in its broadcast and cable TV business. Redstone expressed the need to fortify Paramount for the future amidst industry changes while emphasizing the importance of content.

Under the merger, Skydance founder David Ellison will assume the role of chairman and chief executive of Paramount, while former NBCUniversal chief executive Jeff Shell will serve as the new president. This leadership change comes after the departure of former Paramount CEO Bob Bakish, reportedly due to disagreements over the Skydance deal.

This merger follows extensive negotiations, with previous reports suggesting that the agreement had fallen through. However, the new deal offered by Skydance includes an increased payout of $1.75 billion to the Redstone family and provides additional legal protections against potential shareholder lawsuits.

While Redstone has a 45-day "go-shop" period to consider alternative offers, an internal announcement to Paramount employees suggests that the deal is expected to be completed as planned, closing in the first half of 2025. The joint venture aims to position Paramount for continued success amid the rapidly evolving industry landscape, leveraging Skydance's strategic vision and resources for future growth.

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