Paramount Globals Sells to Skydance in Landmark Entertainment Deal – Stock Drops

URL copied to clipboard.
Loading the player...

In a significant development poised to reshape the entertainment landscape, Shari Redstone has agreed to sell controlling interest in Paramount Global to a consortium led by Skydance, helmed by David Ellison, and Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital. The deal, subject to regulatory approval and finalization, represents a strategic shift for Paramount, encompassing its film and TV studios, Paramount+, CBS, and iconic cable channels like Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

The negotiations culminate months of speculation and multiple rounds of talks that initially faltered but eventually yielded a revised agreement securing Redstone’s endorsement. Under the terms, Skydance plans to acquire Redstone’s majority stake in National Amusements, thereby gaining control of Paramount. David Ellison, slated to assume the role of CEO, will collaborate with Jeff Shell, former NBCUniversal CEO and current RedBird executive, who is set to serve as president, overseeing day-to-day operations.

To assuage concerns among non-voting Paramount shareholders, Skydance sweetened its offer, aiming to enhance shareholder value amid initial reservations about potential dilution. The consortium plans a substantial investment of $2.4 billion in cash to acquire National Amusements, alongside $4.5 billion for a stock and cash merger involving Paramount’s Class A and B shares, with an additional $1.5 billion slated for Paramount’s balance sheet.

The transaction not only marks the exit of Shari Redstone, who has steered Paramount since her father’s passing, but also facilitates an opportunity for Class A and B shareholders to cash out at $23 and $15 per share, respectively. Skydance anticipates owning approximately 70 percent of outstanding shares following the transaction.

National Amusements, originally a regional theater chain, was transformed into a media powerhouse by Sumner Redstone through acquisitions of Viacom, Paramount, and CBS. Despite owning only 10 percent of Paramount’s equity, National Amusements wields control over 80 percent of its voting stock, cementing its influence in the entertainment conglomerate.

Reflecting on her father’s legacy and Paramount’s evolution, Shari Redstone affirmed, “He had a vision that ‘content was king’ and was always committed to delivering great content for all audiences around the world.” She expressed confidence that the Skydance partnership would fortify Paramount’s future in an industry undergoing rapid transformation.

Paramount shares dropped about 3% in midday trading the following day as investors digested the terms of the new deal, which includes Skydance first acquiring NAI (and Redstone’s stake) for $2.4 billion in cash before completing a full merger.


David Ellison echoed these sentiments, emphasizing Skydance’s strategic vision to energize Paramount with innovative technologies and creative leadership, positioning the studio for sustained growth in the dynamic entertainment landscape. Gerry Cardinale of RedBird underscored the importance of Paramount’s intellectual property and the need for visionary leadership to navigate future challenges in media.

The pending acquisition of Paramount by Skydance assumes significance amidst industry speculation about the studio’s financial health, exacerbated by challenges in its streaming and linear TV operations. The company’s credit rating has faced scrutiny, with recent downgrades reflecting concerns over its financial stability amidst evolving market dynamics.

Paramount’s future has captivated industry observers, with various suitors including Apollo and Sony exploring potential acquisitions. The company’s leadership underwent changes earlier this year, with Bob Bakish replaced as CEO by a trio of executives tasked with steering the company through a transformative phase.

As Skydance prepares to assume control and implement its strategy at Paramount, the broader entertainment and financial communities remain attentive to its implications. The merger underscores ongoing shifts in media consumption habits and the imperative for traditional studios to innovate and adapt in a competitive landscape increasingly defined by digital disruption.

The sale of Paramount to Skydance and RedBird Capital represents a pivotal moment for one of Hollywood’s storied institutions. As the entertainment industry continues its evolution, the strategic alignment between Paramount’s legacy and Skydance’s vision sets the stage for a new era of creativity and growth in global entertainment.

More headlines