Skydance Media CEO David Ellison has made a preliminary offer to acquire National Amusements from the Redstone family as a way to take control of Paramount Global, according to Bloomberg.
The outlet noted that both sides have hired advisers and are exchanging financial information. Ellison and Paramount have also had discussions about merging Skydance’s film and TV studio into the media conglomerate.
A potential deal, which could still fall apart, would be financed with help from Skydance’s investors, which include the private equity firms KKR and RedBird Capital Partners as well as Ellison’s father and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison. According to CNBC, Skydance and its backers are exploring a deal that would take Paramount private.
Representatives for National Amusements, Paramount, Skydance and RedBird declined to comment.
National Amusements owns 77.3% of Paramount Global’s Class A (voting) common stock and 5.2% of its Class B common stock.
Paramount, whose shares climbed 2.7% in after-hours trading Wednesday following the report, has a market capitalization of $8.9 billion and around $15 billion in debt. Its portfolio of assets includes CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and Paramount+.
The company’s stock price has fallen 39% in the past year as it navigates difficult environment plagued by a declining linear business and unprofitable streaming segment.
Skydance, which raised $400 million in new capital last year, is valued at more than $4 billion. The company has had a close working relationship with Paramount, having co-produced “Jack Reacher,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Terminator: Dark Fate,” “Top Gun: Maverick” and every “Mission: Impossible” movie sine 2011’s “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.”
In addition to the interest from Skydance, Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav met with Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish last month to discuss the potential for a merger of the two legendary Hollywood conglomerates, though those talks have not advanced since then.
Bloomberg also reported that private equity firm and Legendary Entertainment investor Apollo Global Management has considered making an offer for National Amusements and has reached out to BDT & MSD Partners, the firm advising the Redstones.
Representatives for Apollo and BDT& MSD Partners did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.
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