Shari Redstone kills Skydance bid for Paramount Global

Shari Redstone pulled the plug Tuesday on a deal to sell Paramount Global-parent National Amusements to Skydance Media in a months-long soap opera over the fate of the media giant.

The media heiress walked away from a reported $1.75 billion offer from the tech heir for her 77% stake, the Wall Street Journal reported.

National Amusements confirmed the deal was dead.

Shari Redstone ended deal talks between her National Amusements and Skydance, according to The Wall Street Journal. REUTERS

A rep for Redstone’s NAI said it has “not been able to reach mutually acceptable terms, regarding the potential transaction with Skydance Media.” 

“NAI is grateful to Skydance for their months of work in pursuing this potential transaction and looks forward to the ongoing, successful production collaboration between Paramount and Skydance,” the rep said, adding that the company “supports the recently announced strategic plan being executed by Paramount’s Office of the CEO.”

Shares of Paramount plunged nearly 8% shortly after news of the deal falling through broke.

Paramount’s three co-CEOs recently unveiled a plan to slash costs and find a partner for its money-losing streaming service, Paramount+.

Redstone will now likely pursue a sale of just National Amusements — which owns a 77% stake in Paramount — without merging the media giant with another company, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.

NAI has recieved interest from two sutiors, an investor consortium led by Hollywood producer Steven Paul, and media exec Edgar Bronfman Jr., who is backed by private equity firm Bain Capital.

A Skydance deal would have included a merger of David Ellison’s production company with Paramount Global. Alamy Stock Photo

Under Skydance’s proposed deal, the production company behind hits like “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One,” would have snapped up National Amusements for around $1.7 billion in cash.

The second part of the deal would entail Skydance merging with Paramount, owner of Paramount Pictures, CBS, MTV and Nickelodeon, in a stock deal.

That step was subject to review by a committee of Paramount directors, who had recently approved the economic terms of the merger but continued to negotiate with Skydance about other deal points, The Journal said.

After months of negotiating with David Ellison, Redstone pulled the
plug on the deal. Alamy Stock Photo

The outlet said that some of those points included pushing for a deal to be subject to a vote of all other shareholders. The Journal said National Amusement was supportive of a vote.

Skydance has said such a vote is” a nonstarter,” The Journal said.

The committee was scheduled to vote on the Paramount merger with Skydance Tuesday afternoon, but it is not clear if the vote happened.

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