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Skydance pursues deal to acquire Paramount parent company

The front of the Paramount Pictures studios in Los Angeles, California. (Stock image by Hannah Wernecke via Unsplash)
The front of the Paramount Pictures studios in Los Angeles, California. (Stock image by Hannah Wernecke via Unsplash)

Production company Skydance Media and its top executive, David Ellison, are discussing an all-cash deal to acquire the parent company of entertainment giant, Paramount Global, according to numerous reports.

On Wednesday, financial news outlet Reuters said the deal would involve several other investors, including RedBird Capital Partners and China-based Tencent. The information was attributed to an unnamed source who was confirming details first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

If a deal goes through, Ellison would activate plans to merge Paramount Global with Skydance Media, the latter of which has produced numerous film and television series for Paramount and its media properties in the past.

The Reuters source said discussions about a possible merger were in early stages, and that a definitive offer may not materialize.

The reports come as the family behind Paramount’s parent company, National Amusements, is said to be exploring ways to sell some or all of the business. The plan comes amid a downturn in business for Paramount since its CBS and Viacom brands merged in 2019.

Some of its troubles were attributed to macroeconomic conditions brought on by the three-year coronavirus health pandemic, which forced theme parks and movie theaters to close, cutting into Paramount’s overall revenue.

During the pandemic, Paramount spent billions of dollars to build up its flagship streaming service, Paramount Plus, writing large checks for the production of original series like “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies” and “Star Trek: Prodigy” that failed to draw much of an audience.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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