Skydance reportedly revises Paramount move in appeal to shareholders

Paramount Studios Water Tower


Paramount suitor Skydance is reportedly prepared to invest a further US$3 billion in the studio including a premium payable to common shareholders in an attempt to head off shareholder hostility to its proposed deal.

Skydance, the production company headed by tech billionaire Larry Ellison’s son David, is attempting a back-door takeover of Paramount through a deal to acquire the voting majority held by Shari Redstone’s National Amusements.

According to the FT newspaper, the offer from Skydance came as CEO Bob Bakish, once close to Redstone but who had been opposed to the deal, exited the company on Monday.

The newspaper said that Skydance’s revised offer would see it pay close to US$2 billion to take over National Amusements, not as much as previously discussed.

Skydance’s period of exclusive talks is due to expire on Friday, potentially opening the way for a rival bid from Apollo Global Management and Sony Pictures Entertainment for Paramount itself that would reportedly value the company at around US$26 billion.

Paramount confirmed the departure of Bakish on Monday following multiple press reports over the weekend that he was set to go.

The studio posted revenues of US$5 billion for the quarter, up from US$4.96 billion a year earlier.

Operating losses fell to US$417 million, down from US$1.23 billion for the prior year period.

Loss-making streamer Paramount+ ended the quarter with 71 million subscribers, having added a net 3.7 million over the quarter. The streamer’s revenue grew by 51%, which Paramount said reflected subscriber growth and an increase in ARPU thanks to price hikes.

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