Sony, Apollo Bid $26 Billion in Cash for Paramount Global

By John Lopez

May 02, 2024 05:06 PM EDT

Sony Group Corp. and Apollo Global Management Inc. have made a joint bid of $26 billion in cash to acquire Paramount Global, the media conglomerate behind CBS and MTV.

Bloomberg reported that the bid represents a substantial offer to take Paramount Global private.

Sony and Apollo Launch Bold $26 Billion Bid to Acquire Paramount Global

The proposal, described as a nonbinding expression of interest, includes an all-cash offer for Paramount shares and the assumption of debt.

Under Shari Redstone's control, Paramount has been considering a merger proposal from David Ellison's Skydance Media, which involves merging Skydance into Paramount. However, some Paramount investors have expressed concerns about the potential dilution of their holdings in the proposed merger.

According to Bloomberg, a special committee of Paramount directors has been engaged in discussions with Ellison, who has responded by agreeing to purchase more Paramount nonvoting stock to enhance the deal for other investors. Upon news of the Sony-Apollo bid, Paramount's nonvoting shares significantly increased by more than 14% to $13.99 in New York.

The Sony-Apollo bid competes with a bid from David Ellison's Skydance, backed by RedBird Capital Partners and KKR. While Shari Redstone is known to prefer a deal with Skydance, the Sony-Apollo proposal offers a different direction for Paramount's future.

If successful, the Sony-Apollo bid would result in mass layoffs and reduce the number of major Hollywood studios to four following Disney's acquisition of the 20th Century.

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Paramount Global

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 31: The Paramount Pictures logo is displayed in front of Paramount Studios on January 31, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. Media mogul Byron Allen has made an offer to purchase Paramount Global in a deal valued at $30 billion including debt, according to a spokesperson for Allen Media Group.
(Photo : Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Sony-Apollo and Skydance Battle for Paramount in High-Stakes Media Acquisition Race

According to Variety, under the proposed bid with Apollo, Sony would be the majority owner of the combined company. Sony Corp. would merge Sony Pictures Entertainment into a joint venture with Paramount Global, with both Sony and Apollo contributing cash to finance the deal.

However, regulatory challenges may arise regarding foreign ownership control of broadcast TV stations, as Sony would need to address FCC rules.

Apollo's previous offers for Paramount Global have been rebuffed by the company's board's special committee. However, the $26 billion bid represents a renewed effort to acquire the media giant.

Meanwhile, discussions among Paramount's board and potential suitors could extend beyond the exclusive negotiating window with Skydance, which ends Friday.

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