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Paramount Global and Skydance Media Near Merger Deal, Eyeing CEO Change

 |  April 26, 2024

Paramount Global and Skydance Media are on the brink of finalizing a significant merger deal, with talks progressing swiftly towards a resolution that would reshape the landscape of the entertainment industry. The deal involves merging the two media giants and acquiring the controlling stake held by Shari Redstone, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

The special committee at Paramount Global, along with David Ellison’s Skydance Media, bolstered by private equity heavyweights KKR and RedBird Capital Partners, are honing in on the intricate details of the deal. Central to the discussions is the valuation of Skydance’s assets and determining the equity infusion required for the merger, insiders reveal.

Sources close to the matter indicate that both parties are nearing consensus on valuing Skydance at approximately $5 billion. The envisioned merger would integrate Skydance into Paramount Global, amplifying the conglomerate’s presence in the entertainment sector. To facilitate the transaction, Ellison and the consortium are poised to raise between $4.5 billion to $5 billion in fresh equity. A substantial portion of these funds, around $2 billion, is earmarked for the buyout of Redstone’s stake, with additional allocations aimed at reducing existing debt burdens.

Read more: Warner Bros Discovery and Paramount Global Face Mounting Concerns Over Proposed Merger

The timeline for finalizing the deal is ambitiously set for May, as per insiders. However, delays arose due to purported sluggishness in Paramount Global’s facilitation of the necessary due diligence procedures. Consequently, the exclusivity window for merger discussions, slated to conclude on May 3, might be extended by two weeks upon the consortium’s request.

In a strategic move following the merger, Skydance plans to usher in significant leadership changes. David Ellison is poised to assume the mantle of CEO at Paramount Global, while former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell is slated to be appointed as President, sources disclose. This transition would entail the departure of current Paramount CEO Bob Bakish, marking a pivotal moment in the company’s trajectory.

Source: NBC News