Skydance Media’s $1.75 Billion Deal With Shari Redstone’s Paramount Global: A Billionaire’s Change of Heart

Los Angeles, California – Media heiress Shari Redstone has once again changed her mind regarding a deal involving her controlling stake in Paramount Global. This time, she has reached a preliminary agreement to sell it to Skydance Media after previously walking away from a similar deal just weeks ago. The deal between Redstone and Skydance Media, run by tech heir David Ellison, has caught the attention of the media and entertainment industry.

Redstone, who controls the entertainment giant through her 77% stake in family firm National Amusements, informed a special committee of the Paramount Global board about the agreement. The special committee is now evaluating the possibility of combining Paramount, home of the namesake studio, CBS, and Nickelodeon, with Skydance Media. The deal entails Skydance Media paying $1.75 billion for National Amusements as part of the agreement.

Paramount faces challenges such as a declining cable business, a heavy debt load, and the costly expansion of its streaming service. The potential sale to Skydance Media could bring about significant changes and opportunities for Paramount. This development caused shares of Paramount to rise by 9% in after-hours trading, reflecting investor optimism about the deal.

The agreement between Redstone and Skydance Media comes after Redstone abruptly ended talks with David Ellison in June. The previous deal would have involved Skydance Media buying National Amusements for around $1.7 billion in cash, providing funds to buy out certain nonvoting shares of Paramount, and injecting money into Paramount’s balance sheet for debt reduction. The swift change in direction also comes amidst interests from other key players in the industry, including billionaire media mogul Barry Diller, who is exploring a bid to acquire Redstone’s NAI stake.

The Paramount saga continues to evolve, with the upcoming Sun Valley conference in Idaho serving as a backdrop for potential further developments. As the media landscape undergoes rapid transformations, the decisions made by major players like Redstone, Skydance Media, and other interested parties could have a lasting impact on the future of Paramount and the broader entertainment industry.