Apollo and Sony moving ahead with bid for Paramount

Paramount Studios Water Tower

Source: Alamy.com

Private equity outfit Apollo and Sony have told Paramount Global they will make a US$26 billion cash offer for the studio, according to a report by the FT, a day before the closing of an exclusive window for talks with rival bidder, producer Skydance, helmed by David Ellison.

Under the planned bid Sony would be a majority shareholder with control, with Apollo taking a back seat as minority investor, according to the reports.

Sony and Apollo would provide all of the equity financing for their bid, but would also involve production company Legendary Entertainment, in which Apollo has an existing investment, according to the report.

The latest move in the multi-part saga currently enveloping Paramount comes after existing suitor Skydance reportedly said they were 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 is attempting a back-door takeover of Paramount through a deal to acquire the voting majority held by chair Shari Redstone’s National Amusements.

Paramount had confirmed the departure of CEO Bob Bakish on Monday following multiple press reports over the weekend that he was set to go over disagreements with Redstone’s approach to the sale of the company.

Skydance’s period of exclusive talks was due to expire today.

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