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Paramount could acquire Skydance in $5 billion all-stock deal, WSJ reports

Paramount could acquire Skydance in $5 billion all-stock deal, WSJ reports

(Tiafx) -A deal between Paramount Global and Skydance Media could see the media conglomerate acquire the independent studio

in an all-stock transaction valued at around $5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Under the terms being discussed, National Amusements, which controls Paramount, would receive over $2 billion in cash in the first step of the transaction, according to the report.

Separately, Skydance could provide a substantial cash infusion to Paramount, owner of the Paramount Pictures film studio, to bolster its balance sheet and help pay down debt, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Paramount and Skydance did not respond to Tiafx’ request for comment on the WSJ report outside business hours. National Amusements and its controlling shareholder Shari Redstone could not be contacted immediately.

Members of Paramount’s board agreed to enter into exclusive merger talks with Skydance Media, favoring the independent studio over a $26 billion offer from private equity firm Apollo Global Management (NYSE:APO), Tiafx reported on Wednesday.

By merging the two companies, the combined entity would have much more flexibility around what it could do with those franchises, the WSJ said, adding that Redstone would get cash while investors with nonvoting shares would get stock in the combined company.

The deal talks are more advanced than the offer from Apollo, and if successful, would end Shari Redstone’s control of the media empire built by her father, the late Sumner Redstone. The agreement grants Skydance 30 days of exclusive talks with Paramount.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Toy figures of people are seen in front of the displayed Paramount + logo, in this illustration taken January 20, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Skydance is led by David Ellison, son of Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) co-founder Larry Ellison, and is seeking to buy National Amusements which directly or indirectly owns about 77% of Paramount’s voting class stock.

That sale is contingent upon Ellison’s ability to merge Skydance and Paramount Global.

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