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Sony, Apollo team to target Paramount?

April 19, 2024

US private equity group Apollo Global is considering hooking up with Sony Pictures Entertainment to make a joint takeover bid for Paramount Global to rival the deal on the table between controlling shareholder Shari Redstone and Skydance, the film studio.

The potential of the bid is at an early stage, according to reports. If a bid is successful, Sony would likely absorb Paramount’s operations and brand it as a label of its own media empire. Sony has its own vast film and television library, but is the sole major entertainment studio without a streaming service. A Paramount acquisition would allow Sony to exploit and enhance the Paramount+ SVoD platform with its own content.

Paramount shares rose 12 per cent in the wake of the news.

Earlier this month, Paramount entered exclusive negotiations with Skydance, which is offering to buy Redstone’s National Amusements, which controls 77 per cent of Paramount’s voting stock, it would then merge the two companies.

Apollo previously submitted a Paramount bid of more than $26 billion (€24.3bn), which would have given shareholders a large cash premium to Paramount’s trading price, but it was rebuffed. Paramount questioned the financing of Apollo’s bid and refused to engage.

The possible bid comes as Skydance’s approach faces criticism from some Paramount investors, who say the structure of the deal leaves them at a disadvantage. Four members of the Paramount board, including some longtime Redstone allies, recently decided not to stand for re-election following the failed Apollo approach.

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