Paramount Global And Skydance Media Agree To $8 Billion Merger

Paramount Global (PARA) and privately held Skydance Media have agreed to terms of a merger that’s valued at $8 billion U.S.

While a deal has yet to be formally announced, several media outlets are reporting that the two companies have reached an agreement.

The deal is valued at $8 billion U.S., which is an increase from the $5 billion U.S. that had originally been on the table.

The deal is apparently waiting for signoff from Paramount’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, who owns 77% of Paramount’s Class A shares

Skydance Media, which is backed by private equity firms RedBird Capital and KKR, will contribute $1.5 billion U.S. in cash to Paramount’s balance sheet to help reduce its debt.

Skydance will also buy nearly 50% of Class B Paramount shares at $15 U.S. apiece, leaving the stockholders with equity in the new company.

Following the deal’s close, Skydance and RedBird will own two-thirds of Paramount, and the class B shareholders will own the remaining one-third of the company.

The deal does not require a vote from shareholders.

The agreement comes after weeks of discussion and a competing offer from Apollo Global Management and Sony Pictures.

Apollo and Sony had expressed interest in acquiring Paramount Global for $26 billion U.S. However, Shari Redstone favors a deal that will keep Paramount together, and Apollo and Sony wanted to break up the company.

Paramount Global’s annual shareholder meeting takes place today (June 4) and a formal announcement concerning the merger is expected afterwards.

An entertainment giant, Paramount Global owns its namesake film studio, as well as the CBS television studio and multiple specialty channels such as Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

Paramount’s film franchises include “Mission Impossible” and “Indiana Jones.”

The Class B stock of Paramount Global has declined 15% over the last 12 months to trade at $12.80 U.S. per share. Over five years, the stock is down 74%.

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