Skydance Media Gets Board Approval for Merger with Paramount Global

David Ellison‘s Skydance Media has gained a key approval vote for the company’s proposed acquisition of Paramount Global controlling shareholder National Amusements Inc. after seven months of talks.

The deal was blessed Sunday by a special committee of Paramount’s board of directors, a person familiar with the matter told Deadline. A formal announcement is expected as soon as Monday morning.

Bloomberg News earlier Sunday was the first to report on the special committee vote.

Reps from NAI, Paramount and Skydance did not immediately respond to Deadline’s request for comment.

While the board committee action is a milestone, one of the features of the current agreement is a 45-day “go-shop” provision, which allows NAI chief Shari Redstone to field alternative offers. Apollo Global Management, Barry Diller and Edgar Bronfman Jr. are among those who have explored bids. Apollo, both on its own and in partnership with Sony Pictures, has submitted formal offers in recent months but they haven’t gained much traction.

Under terms of the Skydance agreement, Redstone and her family will receive $1.75 billion, with additional funds going toward Paramount debt repayment. The transaction is expected to be the first of two parts, with a full merger between Skydance and Paramount Global to follow. NAI controls nearly 80% of Paramount’s Class A, or voting, shares. It holds only about 10% of its equity value, with that disparity adding to the complexity of deal negotiations in recent months.


Skydance is a longtime partner with Paramount Pictures as a co-financier on marquee franchises like Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, Transformers and Top Gun. Along with the 112-year-old movie studio, Skydance will gain control of a portfolio including CBS, Nickelodeon and Paramount+. Unlike other bidders aiming to break up the company, Skydance is seen as wanting to preserve the entity in much the same shape as it currently exists, though there will undoubtedly be significant cost cutting. That strategic vision helps explain Redstone’s longtime preference for Skydance over some other suitors, according to sources familiar with the deal talks.

Less than a month ago, it seemed that any hope of the parties reaching a deal had evaporated. Redstone pulled out of a planned deal at the 11th hour over concerns regarding her net proceeds and exposure to shareholder lawsuits. While earlier Skydance overtures caused Paramount’s already battered stock to sink even lower due to concerns about shareholder dilution, the most recent go-round has boosted the share price. In Hollywood and media circles, the Paramount M&A watch has punctuated a period marked by existential anxiety and fears emerged of another major studio poised to disappear in the wake of Fox’s absorption by Disney.

(Excerpt) Read more in: Deadline

Skydance Media Gets Board Approval for Merger with Paramount Global

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